NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- After weeks of rising infections and growing calls for more action, the Biden administration has declared monkeypox a public health emergency.
It comes as New York City, the epicenter of the outbreak in the U.S., opened thousands more appointments for the vaccine Thursday night.
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Just an hour later, the city's health department tweeted they were all claimed.
Anyone seeking a vaccine appointment within the five boroughs can visit the New York City monkeypox vaccine scheduler.
Amid the national shortage of vaccine, there is now a plan under consideration to split one dose into five.
This would give patients a shallower injection, still allowing some protection while stretching out the limited supply.
After 23,000 vaccine appointment timeslots were booked in under an hour Thursday night, NYC is opening additional vaccination locations.
Health officials here hope to receive thousands more doses in the coming weeks.
"We are immediately expanding the sites where you can get them, and we are getting the vaccines out the door. But there's a real supply issue," said Mayor Eric Adams. "It's unfortunate that we have to wait for those supplies to come in. We're not in control of that. We're going to get them, and we've got to get needles in the arms of those who are in need."
Of the more than 7,000 confirmed cases in the U.S., almost a quarter of them are right here in the city.
Right now the virus is still spreading mostly among men who have sex with men, but health experts say everyone needs to be paying attention because it spreads from close skin-to-skin contact.
Anyone can get it.
As of Thursday, 1,738 people have tested positive for monkeypox in New York City, according to the NYC Monkeypox Data tool.
NYC Monkeypox Case Numbers:
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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