DC Health appointments for monkeypox vaccination filled within minutes

Only 15 minutes after a limited number of monkeypox vaccination appointments were made available this week, DC Health said all 300 appointments had been snagged.

Officials said to check DC Health’s monkeypox vaccination website, or their social platforms Wednesday morning, to receive updates on future availability.

On Monday morning, Mayor Bowser and DC Health announced that the District would provide a limited amount of vaccinations free of charge to residents 18 and older who belong to the most at-risk groups, which are listed as:

  • Gay, bisexual, and other men 18 and older who have sex with men and have had multiple (more than one) sexual partners or any anonymous sexual partners in the last 14 days; or
  • Transgender women or nonbinary persons assigned male at birth who have sex with men; or
  • Sex workers (of any sexual orientation/gender); or
  • Staff (of any sexual orientation/gender) at establishments where sexual activity occurs (e.g., bathhouses, saunas, sex clubs)

Monkeypox can spread to anyone, though the majority of cases in the District have been in men who have sex with men, DC Health said.

When the D.C. vaccine website opened to take appointments at 1 p.m., Monday afternoon, all available slots were taken within 15 minutes.

For this week only, vaccination appointments are scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday between 1 p.m. and 8 p.m., at the clinic located at 7530 Georgia Ave NW.

DC Health said that, if extra doses are provided by federal government, the clinic will take appointments for this coming Sunday between 1 p.m. and 8 p.m.

You can check for availability on Wednesday morning at DC Health’s official monkeypox vaccine website.

DC Health has not yet announced if the clinic schedule will continue in the coming weeks.

As demand for appointments appears to be high, the city recommends visiting DC Health’s official vaccination website for regular updates and availability.

Demand for the monkeypox vaccine has been growing immensely in the last two weeks as the World Health Organization considers whether to classify the global outbreak as a pandemic.

Last Thursday at 11:30 a.m., New York City quietly announced the opening of a vaccine clinic in the Chelsea neighborhood of Brooklyn. Within two hours, all appointments had been booked online and a line of over 100 people had formed at the clinic entrance, The New York Times reported.

With DC Health’s announcement today, it joins New York City in extending access to the monkeypox vaccine beyond the close contacts of those already infected — a policy already employed by the United Kingdom and Canada.

Monkeypox is a rare viral illness that is quickly spreading throughout the globe. In the last two months, the virus has gone from statistically nonexistent to 3,000 cases in 50 countries, according to the World Health Organization.

Though most cases do not require hospitalization, monkeypox is potentially fatal, highly contagious and uncomfortable, the release said.

Symptoms of the monkeypox virus. (Getty Images)

According to DC Health, the initial symptoms for monkeypox include “flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle aches, and swollen lymph nodes, followed by a rash and lesions on the skin.”

If you are displaying symptoms of the virus, or would like to be tested for its parent strain, orthopoxvirus, DC Health recommends visiting your health care provider or local wellness clinic.

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Joshua Barlow

Joshua Barlow is a writer, composer, and producer who has worked for CGTN, Atlantic Public Media, and National Public Radio. He lives in Northeast Washington, D.C., where he pays attention to developments in his neighborhood, economic issues, and social justice.

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