WASHINGTON (AP) – The White House said Wednesday it is optimistic about a decline in monkeypox cases and an uptick in vaccinations against the infectious virus. Despite worsening racial disparities in reported cases,
Promising to increase vaccination offerings at LGBTQ Pride festivals nationwide in the coming weeks, White House deputy coordinator for the national monkeypox response, Dr. Demetre Daskalakis said more than 460,000 doses have been given.
However, the spread of the virus does not seem to end.
“Our goal is to control this outbreak in the US,” Daskalakis said. “We are seeing strong progress, in fact, getting the shots in the arms. Now that supply is no longer an issue, we need to make sure we focus on keeping up with demand.”
America is at the forefront of the world in terms of infection Till Wednesday, 21,274 cases had been reported. – Men in about 98% of cases and men said they had recently had sexual contact with other men in about 93% of cases.
Monkeypox, which can cause rash, fever, body aches and chills, is spread through close skin-to-skin contact and prolonged exposure to respiratory droplets. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that men or transgender people who have had multiple male sexual partners consider vaccination.
The number of infections is slowing down after reaching the highest level of 870 cases in a single day on 22 August. But the decline has deepened the racial divide.
While cases of white men have decreased in recent weeks, black men are increasing the percentage of infections. As per the latest data available, around 38% during the last week of August, In the early weeks of the monkeypox outbreak, black people made up less than a quarter of the reported cases.
Latinos are also disproportionately infected, making up about a third of infections.
That trend means that public health messages and vaccines are not reaching those communities effectively, said Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.
“It lets you know that there needs to be a major re-evaluation of your interventions,” Adalja said. “It’s not as impressive as it should be.”
Biden Administration has struggled with its response to the outbreak since the beginning when it was first identified in May, One million doses of the vaccine were awaiting use in the strategic national stockpile, But the US had only 2,000 of them. Shipping and regulatory delays forced a month-long wait for the remaining supplies, as men lined up for hours outside clinics in major cities hoping to get the shot.
White House officials said on Wednesday they had bounced back from some of those initial missteps, pointing to a recent drop in cases.
Daskalakis said the Biden administration worked with the LGBTQ community to put vaccines directly into the hands of local organizations to fuel growth in Black and Latino communities. he pointed Efforts at Recent Pride Celebrations In Atlanta and New Orleans as evidence.
“Thousands of individuals are getting protection from monkeypox that they might not have otherwise,” Daskalakis said. “These events show that our strategy is working.”
In Louisville, Kentucky, 33-year-old Spencer Jenkins isn’t so sure.
Jenkins spent weeks this summer trying to get a vaccine by signing up for long waiting lists in cities hours away, including Washington and Chicago. He got lucky when his doctor in Louisville was one of the few providers in town to get a dose of the shot earlier last month.
“You think they want to get vaccines for everyone because it’s preventive,” he said. “All the work has been cut short on people queuing up trying to get the vaccine.”