NYC’s department of health announced a week ago that monkeypox vaccine appointments were available in several sites around the city…
The demand was so high that the scheduling website crashed with every available appointment booked within hours.
When monkeypox cases were first detected in the U.S. in May, experts knew that monkeypox was a known threat that could be treated with existing vaccines.
But the reality is messy.
The vaccine supply is limited and it has proven difficult to prioritize the highest-risk individuals for shots. (Without stigmatizing it, right now this means gay men…)
Now in certain areas, demand is overwhelming the available supply.
Dr. Carlos del Rio, a professor in Emory University School of Medicine’s division of infectious diseases, told Time,
Everybody would like to get the vaccine, and there’s just not enough vaccine…
You have a little bit of a Hunger Games approach.”
Here’s what we know;
- As of July 15, more than 300,000 doses had been made available to states and local jurisdictions, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- 800,000 Jynneos shots could become available for use by the end of July
- By mid-2023, the U.S. should have nearly 7 million doses of monkeypox vaccine
- New York, California, Illinois, Florida, Georgia, and D.C. have become early hotspots, together accounting for more than half of the 1,814 cases confirmed nationwide as of July 15
- NYC officials recently announced that they will prioritize getting first doses to as many at-risk people as possible in order to stretch supply, meaning some people may have to wait longer than the specified four weeks to get their second doses
- But CDC and FDA officials have said that individuals are not adequately protected after a single dose
- Like COVID-19 before it, monkeypox’s vaccine rollout has also shown the importance of global equity
Monkeypox is endemic to certain parts of Africa—and if vaccines had been more accessible there, the global outbreak may never have happened.
Clinics are struggling to keep up with vaccine demand, as monkeypox cases have been detected in nearly every state.— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) July 18, 2022
Health officials have ordered about seven million additional doses — but those won’t arrive for months. https://t.co/p0ehvgSQb4 pic.twitter.com/zwiP6lt0ya
And if you happen to get monkeypox, good luck getting treatment…
(Photos, Wikimedia Commons; via Time)