West Side monkeypox vaccine site draws eager shot-seekers from all over

Kale Jones, 40, from Rogers Park, receives his Monkeypox vaccination at TaskForce Prevention & Community Services in Austin on Thursday.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

The line to get the monkeypox vaccine at a West Side vaccine site began forming at 11 a.m., three hours before the doors would open. It wrapped around the corner and into the alley.

Some of those waiting leaned against the wall, soaking in the sun.

But every last person in line — 140 in all — got the jab.

They all had come last week to TaskForce Prevention & Community Service, a community center for Black and Brown LGBTQ youth, a site picked by Chicago public health officials for the vulnerable group it supports.

Stanton Hinson joined that queue last Thursday at 11:15 a.m. The San Francisco-based nurse was halfway through a three-month family visit in Belmont Cragin when the Illinois Department of Public Health announced the first case of monkeypox in Chicago.

That was on June 2. By Thursday, the case count had grown to 478.

“It’s starting to run through the community, and everyone here is a sexual being,” he said. “We want to be able to have sex and feel free, and not have to worry about disease if it’s something we can prevent.”

Put off by the wait to get the vaccine elsewhere, the 33-year old came to the Austin site.

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“I had tried to go in Boystown, but the line was so long.”

He was vaccinated shortly after doors opened at 2 p.m.

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Source:: Chicago Sun Times

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