A developing monkeypox epidemic is focused in New York City, and the city is preparing to receive thousands of vaccine shots, but how the city will distribute them fairly to those who are most at risk for the illness remains a major question mark.
The week before last, a single medical facility in Chelsea provided one thousand doses of a vaccination that had been made available from the stockpile by the city’s Department of Health. The queue had already reached close to new individuals after just approximately 90 minutes, thanks to the hundreds of males who walked in as walk-ins.
On a Thursday at noon, the city did not make a public announcement about the opening of the clinic until about half an hour beforehand. And by Monday, the last vaccinations had been administered to those who had scheduled them.
The procedure drew criticism since it allowed the majority of the initial slots to go to those who were already well-connected in the field of public health and had the flexibility to take time off throughout the workday.
According to the city’s Health Department, as of Thursday, there were 78 instances of monkeypox that had been identified, which is more than twice the number that had been recorded only one week earlier. And as of Wednesday, there were 72 instances reported throughout the state, making up 20 percent of the total number of cases reported across the country, which stood at 351.
But there will be other dosages coming. On Thursday, Governor Kathy Hochul made the announcement that the state will soon receive an extra 8,195 doses of the monkeypox vaccine from the federal government, of which about 6,000 would be sent to New York City.
As a result, my team and I will continue to work around the clock to secure as many vaccines as possible for our residents in order to alleviate as much of that fear and anxiety as we possibly can.”
The city has committed to increasing access to dosages once they have received more supplies, but as of Thursday afternoon, there were no specifics available on the distribution strategy.
This initiative was only the beginning, and as supply rises, we intend to extend to other regions of the city, a spokesperson for the Health Department named Michael Lanza said earlier this week. “This effort was just the beginning,”
He went on to say that the Health Department had decided to administer the first doses at the Chelsea Sexual Health Clinic in Manhattan because it is one of the most well-known sexual health clinics in the city and has “a very long history in the community and providing culturally competent care to L.G.B.T.Q.+ New Yorkers.” This was one of the reasons that led to the Health Department making this decision.
The Department of Health has suggested that the monkeypox vaccination be given to males who are at a high risk of exposure to the virus. According to their criteria, high risk males include those who have had several or unknown male sexual partners during the last two weeks.
The allocation of vaccine, which is part of a national distribution plan for hundreds of thousands of doses that was announced by the White House on Tuesday, comes at a time when monkeypox continues to spread and when experts warn that the window of opportunity for containing the virus is quickly closing.
The Jynneos vaccine against monkeypox will be provided by the United States Department of Health and Human Services in an initial amount of 56,000 doses, and a further 240,000 doses will be provided in the following weeks, according to an announcement made by the White House. It is anticipated that an additional 750,000 doses will become accessible throughout the course of the summer, and that a total of 1.6 million doses will be ready by the time this year comes to a close.