The state is being urged to boost supplies of monkeypox vaccine after all the city’s vaccination appointments were quickly booked last week.
State Sen. Brad Hoylman is calling on Gov. Hochul and Health Commissioner Mary Bassett to get extra doses from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as soon as possible.
“We desperately need additional monkeypox vaccines,” the Manhattan Democrat told the Daily News on Sunday. “It’s an outrage that New York City received 1,000 vaccines for an LGBTQ population that is greater than 700,000 people.”
Recent months have seen growing international concern over monkeypox, which spread from central and western Africa to Europe and the U.S.
More than 3,300 cases have been found in the U.S., according to the CDC, with 39 of them in the Big Apple, the city Health Department found.
Monkeypox has a low fatality rate in Africa and no deaths have been reported in the new outbreak.
But Hoylman noted cases in the city have mainly been spreading among men who have sex with men.
“With close contact among members of the LGBTQI population — greater now during Pride and the summer weeks ahead — it’s imperative that we get more vaccine into the arms of vulnerable members of the population,” he said.
The only site in the city offering the vaccine, a clinic in Chelsea, faced so much demand that it had to turn people away soon after it opened on Thursday.
Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine and Councilman Erik Bottcher signed Hoylman’s letter to Hochul and Bassett.
A state Health Department spokesman said it’s the city government that’s responsible for ordering doses from the CDC, adding that the local Health Department gets the vaccines directly from the feds.
Still, “the state should requisition supplies and get them to New York City,” Hoylman said.
The city government has already asked for more doses, said Fabien Levy, a spokesman for Mayor Adams.
“It’s what we were allocated,” Levy said when asked why the first batch was so small. “We’re looking forward to getting additional doses as quickly as possible.”
He could not immediately state when more vaccines are expected.
Hoylman compared the situation to the rocky rollout of the COVID vaccine.
“We’ve seen this movie before and that’s why we’re alerting the governor and the state health commissioner to our concerns,” he said.
With News Wire Services