NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— Vaxxstravaganza on Bourbon Street is underway right now, and the City’s Health Department is putting it on.
This monkeypox vaccination event is part of a major push to get as many in the LGBTQ community vaccinated ahead of Southern Decadence, which is coming up on Labor Day weekend.
Annie Gingrich got her first dose of the monkeypox vaccine because she’s bartending in the French Quarter during Southern Decadence.
“It is going to be a weekend with a lot of close proximity and you know I’m a bartender. If I cut my hand, then I get a hug from a friend, I just want to protect myself and others,” she said.
Monkeypox cases are rising. According to the Louisiana Department of Health there are currently 156 cases in Louisiana, with 114 being in the New Orleans area.
“While there may be some droplet spread of the virus, it is really face-to-face, kissing, being really close face-to-face with someone,” Dr. Jeffrey Elder with LCMC Health said.
With the risk, New Orleans has several vaccination events at bars planned all week including “Vaxxstravaganza.”
In addition to those who meet the vaccine criteria, vaccines are being made available to those bartenders and others in the service industry who will be working during Southern Decadence. With Decadence being so close, doctors say there’s still risks.
“We think it takes about two weeks to get that immunity and remember this is a two week series, so two weeks from the first dose, and the second dose gets you further immunity for a longer period of time,” Dr. Elder said.