Drive-thru monkeypox vaccinations start in Westchester County

As cases of monkeypox continue to rise across the Tri-State area, a facility in Westchester County is working to meet the growing demand for vaccines.

Starting Wednesday Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla is offering monkeypox vaccinations at its drive-thru center.

Supplies are limited, and the vaccines are available by appointment only, Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., to those who meet the medical center’s guidelines.

To make an appointment, call 914-326-2060.

Westchester Medical Center’s drive-thru facility is a permanent, climate-controlled structure that also offers COVID tests and influenza shots during flu season.

The demand for the monkeypox vaccine remains high everywhere, with New York City’s most recent posting of 17,000 online appointments taken in less than half an hour.

Federal officials say additional doses will be coming to New York soon.

The U.S. has more than 3,000 total cases of monkeypox, about a third of them in the state of New York, with the vast majority in New York City.

The Biden administration is considering declaring monkeypox a public health emergency, following in the steps of the World Health Organization.

Anyone can get and spread monkeypox, though the current cases are primarily spreading among social networks of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men, so this community is currently at greater risk of exposure.

If you have a new or unexpected rash or other symptoms of monkeypox, contact a health care provider.

Monkeypox is harder to contract than COVID, as it requires close contact or the sharing of bodily fluid.

The symptoms of the rare virus include fever and rash, muscle aches, and chills.

Worldwide, monkeypox is deadly in between 3% to 6% of cases, though the death rate is less than 1% in areas with quality healthcare.

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