MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Miami-Dade County is doing its part in distributing vaccines for surging cases of monkeypox, as two vaccination sites have been set up and are now taking appointments.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava was joined by a crowd of local leaders Wednesday to spread the word about protection against monkeypox and that vaccines are now available.

More than 600 people had already signed up to receive the vaccine just before noon.

“It’s real, it’s serious and it’s here, and we are ready to respond and protect our community,” said Levine Cava.

“Knowledge and information is what protects you most during a healthcare challenge, which we are in right now,” said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber.

Two vaccination sites have been set up and are ready to go with the first shots of prevention set to be distributed on Friday.

For now, vaccination locations are Tropical Park and a parking lot on 23rd Street in Miami Beach and appointments are required.

“When any infectious disease starts with one group, it can spread to any other,” said Dr. Lilian Abbo, an infectious disease specialist.

Abbo said those with the highest risk need to get vaccinated first and soon.

“We are all potentially at risk, there is a group that is at a higher risk, and yes, men who have sex with men, right now, seem to be at the highest risk,” she said, “and that’s the targeted group for immunizations, for getting the vaccines very quickly in the group because there is rapid spread in what we call that social circle.”

Miami-Dade County so far has 404 cases of monkeypox, the number of cases has doubled in the past two weeks.

The county has received 1,000 vials of vaccine, which will provide up to 5,000 vaccinations. To be fully vaccinated, a person must receive two doses, four weeks apart.

The Florida Department of Health is only allowing the first dose as the state works to meet the demand.

The mayor said the county has already requested more vaccines, and there are plans to set up more vaccination sites that will eventually include monkeypox testing and treatment.

“As our community is facing this new and growing public threat of monkeypox, we are stepping up once again to deliver a coordinated response,” said Levine Cava. “We stand ready to distribute all the vaccines that we can get as quickly as possible.”

If you would like to make an appointment, call 1-833-875-0900 or visit miamidade.gov/monkeypox.

For more information on the monkeypox vaccine click here.

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