NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— With Monkeypox cases trending up in our area. There are currently 97 confirmed cases in Louisiana. Now there’s new concern about the lack of vaccines. University Medical Center is taking matters into its own hands.

Lots of folks want to get their monkeypox vaccines, and University Medical Center just launched their vaccine clinic this week.

It is by appointment only and those appointments and today all the appointments were completely booked up.

With monkeypox cases on the rise, University Medical Center just launched their vaccine clinics.

“This is important for our community. We know this is something people are worried about. We have a population at-risk. We want to get as much out there as we could, as fast as we could,” Dr. Jeffrey Elder with LCMC Health/University Medical Center said.

Dr. Elder says the LGBTQ community is most at risk.

“Right now the criteria is men who have sex with men, who have had multiple sex partners, or sexual encounters in social situations,” he said.

Because these vaccines are by appointment only they are asking the public to be honest that they meet the criteria and self-report.

“Now’s the time for people to get protected, it takes about two weeks to get full protection for the vaccine,” he said.

Time is on our city’s side right now because doctors say one of the reasons they are trying to get as many in the LGBTQ community vaccinated is because Southern Decadence is coming up. At Decadence, thousands take part in festivities over Labor Day weekend throughout the French Quarter.

“This is a high-risk group that is a high risk of disease from the virus, so now’s the time to get people protected,” Dr. Elder said.

Dr. Elde said that we’ve been lucky in the United States because those infected only get mildly ill. Still, the more people they can vaccinate the better.

“We’re going to do everything we can to help protect our community,” Dr. Elder said.

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LCMC Health and University Medical Center will be ramping up their vaccine efforts in the next few weeks with more vaccines being shipped in.

The clinic is by appointment only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. to schedule your appointment call 504-702-4243.