“We will continue to take aggressive action against this virus,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, White House COVID-19 response coordinator, who has also been playing a role in how the government deals with monkeypox.
Officials recently expanded the group of people recommended to get vaccinated against the monkeypox virus, expanding the pool of people to include those who may realize on their own that they could have been infected.
That includes men who who have recently had sex with men at parties or in other gatherings in cities where monkeypox cases have been identified.
“Today, I spoke with Dr. Ashish Jha and Dr. Raj Panjabi of the White House to discuss our shared concerns about how to meet the monkeypox vaccination needs of New Yorkers,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said Thursday. “New York State and the Biden Administration will continue to work together on vaccine distribution plans to ensure New York State receives enough vaccine supply to protect New Yorkers, especially those New Yorkers in communities with high transmission rates.”
Last week, people waited for hours in long lines outside the Chelsea Sexual Health Clinic for a temporary vaccine clinic..
(Previous coverage in video player above)
As of Thursday, at least 78 people in New York City have tested positive for orthopoxvirus, which are presumed to be cases of monkeypox.
“I recognize the fear and anxiety this outbreak has caused, especially for LGBTQ+ New Yorkers, which is why my team and I will continue to work around the clock to secure as many vaccines as possible for our residents,” Hochul said. “Following up on my administration’s ongoing conversations with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Monkeypox Response Team, I am pleased to share New York has been able to secure a significant number of vaccines to continue our efforts in responding to and meeting the needs of our most at risk populations, particularly men who have sex with men. Through the public health partnerships and collaboration efforts already in place, New York will soon have 8,195 doses available. We will continue to work with Dr. Jha and the federal government to ensure future allocations reflect the needs of New Yorkers.”
Officials say most have had mild illness, have not been hospitalized, and have recovered on their own.
Even with mild illness, however, the rash and sores from monkeypox can be itchy and painful.
Anyone can get and spread monkeypox, though the current cases are primarily spreading among social networks of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men, so this community is currently at greater risk of exposure.
If you have a new or unexpected rash or other symptoms of monkeypox, contact a health care provider.
The city is requesting additional supply from the CDC to meet the high demand.
The Health Department has posted guidelines for people considering vaccination and any potential risks.
To make an appointment when they are available, visit the NYC.gov page.
Monkeypox is harder to contract than COVID, as it requires close contact or the sharing of bodily fluid.
The symptoms of the rare virus include fever and rash, muscle aches, and chills.
The World Health Organization is assessing whether the current monkeypox outbreaks in several countries presents a public health emergency of international concern.
Worldwide, monkeypox is deadly in between 3% to 6% of cases, though the death rate is less than 1% in areas with quality healthcare.
Ex-Brit turned Manhattan resident since 2008.