Health officials in Central Florida took a big step Thursday in the fight against monkeypox.
The Orange County Health Department opened appointments for the monkeypox vaccine at 8:30 a.m.
It comes as demand for the shots outpace supply, nationwide.
The White House will also address the need for vaccines Thursday.
There have been 49 confirmed cases of monkeypox in Orange County so far this month, according to the Florida Department of Health’s website.
There were nine cases reported in July.
The vaccine is being rolled out locally to try and control the outbreak.
Health experts are warning that monkeypox is spreading worldwide at an alarming rate.
New cases reported last week were up about 20% from the week before, according to the World Health Organization.
Common symptoms initially include fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, fatigue and muscle aches, followed by a rash that eventually turns into lesions.
There are nearly 14,000 confirmed cases in the U.S. right now. Florida has the third-highest number of cases.
On Thursday morning, the Florida Department of Health in Orange County opened its monkeypox vaccination appointment system.
Supply is limited, so there’s a restriction on who can get the vaccine.
Starting tomorrow, Aug, 18, 2022, the FL Dept. of Health in Orange County (DOH-Orange) will open its Monkeypox Vaccination Appointment system at 8:30am Monday thru Friday ONLY
The appointment system in located on the DOH-Orange website at: https://t.co/D77VROSzkh @AnnaForFlorida
— GOHealthyOrange (@DohOrange) August 17, 2022
Right now, it’s only available to gay or bisexual men, or other men who have sex with men, known contacts of people with monkeypox, and health care workers who test or respond to the virus.
White House officials said the U.S. should have enough monkeypox vaccine to fully vaccinate target populations by late September.
More information on how to book an appointment can be found here.
Watch more in the video above.