MONDAY, Aug. 29, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Though there is enough monkeypox vaccine now, Americans who need it most may still not be getting it, a new report shows.
Only 10% of Jynneos vaccine doses have been given to blacks, even though they account for a third of US cases, new data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows.
The latest statistics could only be collected from 17 states and two cities, but similar differences have already been reported from some states and cities. So far, the monkeypox outbreak has mostly affected gay and bisexual men.
The United States has the most infections of any country – over 17,000. About 98% of US cases are men and about 93% were men who reported recent sexual contact with other men. No one in the United States has died from the disease, but deaths have been reported in other countries.
There could be multiple explanations for the worrying trend, experts say. It could be how and where recordings are offered and published. Also, some black men do not trust doctors and government public health efforts, or are less likely to see themselves as at higher risk of contracting the virus.
Vaccine reluctance was also seen in black communities as COVID-19 vaccines rolled out, said Dr. Yvens Laborde, director of global health education at Ochsner Health in New Orleans Associated Press. “If we’re not careful, the same thing will happen here,” he said, with monkeypox.
Black men are inventing more cases of monkeypox, said Caitlin Rivers, a Johns Hopkins University expert on government epidemic response AP. “It’s a problem that won’t go away,” she said.
The Biden administration said Friday it had shipped out enough monkeypox vaccine to give the first of two doses to those at highest risk. That’s nearly 2 million gay or bisexual men. However, the CDC can’t break that down by race AP written down.
Enough second doses are expected by the end of September. As a stopgap measure, health officials have already recommended cutting doses to extend vaccine supplies. According to the Biden administration, only 14 out of 67 jurisdictions have used enough vaccine to request more from the federal stockpile.
Black men need more access to the vaccine, some experts say.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said at a White House briefing on Friday that her agency has taken steps to increase access to vaccines in black communities. Vaccines and educational materials will be available at the upcoming Black Pride events in Atlanta and Southern Decadence in New Orleans AP reported.
“When we started rolling out these pilots, we saw that they worked,” she said.
In related news, a CDC survey released Friday showed about half of gay and bisexual men limit their sexual activity to avoid contracting monkeypox.
Visit the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to learn more about monkeypox.
SOURCE: Associated Press