UNITED STATES NEWS

US data reveals racial gaps in monkeypox vaccinations

Aug 27, 2022, 12:00 PM | Updated: Aug 30, 2022, 6:06 pm
FILE - A registered nurse prepares a dose of a monkeypox vaccine at the Salt Lake County Health Dep...

FILE - A registered nurse prepares a dose of a monkeypox vaccine at the Salt Lake County Health Department in Salt Lake City on July 28, 2022. The Biden administration said Friday, Aug. 26, 2022, that it has shipped enough monkeypox vaccine to deliver the first of two doses to all of the 1.6 million people identified to be at highest risk of infection from the virus. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

The Biden administration said Friday there’s enough monkeypox vaccine available now but health officials say the shots aren’t getting to some of the people who need the protection the most.

About 10% of monkeypox vaccine doses have been given to Black people, even though they account for one-third of U.S. cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The new numbers come from 17 states and two cities, and represent the most comprehensive details yet on who has been getting the two-dose vaccines. Similar disparities had been reported previously by a few states and cities.

Most U.S. monkeypox cases have been in men who have sex with men, but officials have stressed that anyone can catch the virus.

Experts offered several possible explanations for the disparity. It may be related to how and where shots are being offered and publicized. It may be that some Black men don’t trust doctors and government public health efforts. Or they may be less willing to identify themselves as a person who is at higher risk of catching the disease.

The gap is an echo of disparities seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, when certain racial groups were a disproportionately large share of cases but a smaller fraction of the people initially receiving vaccinations, said Dr. Yvens Laborde, director of global health education at Ochsner Health in New Orleans.

“If we’re not careful, the same thing will happen here” with monkeypox, he said.

Available information suggests that Black men are a growing proportion of monkeypox cases, said Caitlin Rivers, a Johns Hopkins University expert on government response to epidemics.

“This is a problem that is not resolving,” she said.

The Biden administration said Friday it has shipped enough monkeypox vaccine to deliver the first of two doses to the group at highest risk of infection. That’s an estimated 1.6 million men who have sex with other men, but the CDC does not have a racial breakdown of the group. The administration expects to have enough for second doses available by the end of next month.

Earlier this month, health officials authorized a plan to allow injection of smaller doses of the vaccine into the skin instead of into muscle, which has helped stretch supplies. With the help of that new method, which requires about one-fifth the usual dose, the administration says it has now shipped enough vaccine for at least 1.6 million doses.

According to the administration, only 14 jurisdictions of 67 have used enough vaccine to request more from the federal stockpile.

Some experts say health officials need to make sure Black men have more access to vaccinations, testing, treatment and other types of information and assistance.

CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, speaking at a White House briefing, said her agency has taken steps to increase access. Vaccines and educational materials will be available at Atlanta’s upcoming Black Pride events and New Orlean’s Southern Decadence.

“We’ve seen as we’re starting to roll these pilot projects out that they are working,” she said.

The government hadn’t previously reported on vaccine recipients’ demographics, because such information sharing is voluntary. The numbers released Friday reflect information on about 208,000 doses administered as of earlier this week, out of more than 1 million shipped. Age, sex, racial and ethnic information was not available for every recipient.

But, based on what information was available, the data shows:

–About half of vaccine recipients were white and about a quarter were Hispanic. About 10% were Black and another 10% were Asian.

–About 94% were identified as male, and 6% female.

–More than half were between the ages of 25 and 39.

The gaps nationally echo those seen in statistics from Georgia, North Carolina, New York City and Washington, D.C. In all four locales, Black men accounted for many or most of the cases, but were a smaller proportion of vaccine recipients.

Monkeypox is endemic in parts of Africa, where people have been infected through bites from rodents or small animals. It wasn’t considered a disease that spreads easily among people until May, when infections emerged in Europe and the U.S.

There have been more than 45,000 cases reported in countries that have not historically seen monkeypox.

The U.S. has the most infections of any country — more than 16,000. About 98% of U.S. cases are men and about 93% were men who reported recent sexual contact with other men. No one in the U.S. has died, but deaths have been reported in other countries.

Officials say the virus has been spreading mainly through skin-on-skin contact, but they warn it might also transmit in other ways, including through touching linens used by someone with monkeypox.

___

Associated Press writer Nicky Forster contributed to this report.

___

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

United States News

Associated Press

US revises up last quarter’s economic growth to 2.9% rate

WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite high interest rates and chronic inflation, the U.S. economy grew at a 2.9% annual rate from July through September, the government said Wednesday in an upgrade from its initial estimate. Last quarter’s rise in the U.S. gross domestic product — the economy’s total output of goods and services — followed two […]
7 hours ago
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan speaks at an annual leadership meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition...
Associated Press

Hogan to gather with supporters amid White House speculation

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Term-limited Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan was holding fundraisers for future political activity Wednesday at events where the Republican is expected to talk about his eight years as governor, as well as plans for the future. Hogan, who leaves office in January, has positioned himself to run as a legitimate alternative to […]
7 hours ago
Lightning brightens the evening sky in Jackson, Miss., Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. Area residents were ...
Associated Press

Tornado threat continues as southern towns assess damage

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Tornadoes damaged numerous homes, destroyed a fire station, briefly trapped people in a grocery store and ripped the roof off an apartment complex in Mississippi and Alabama, and meteorologists said the threat of dangerous storms remained Wednesday near the Gulf Coast in Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Georgia. The National Weather Service […]
7 hours ago
FILE - In this Sept. 30, 2019, file photo, Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg talks to th...
Associated Press

Gaetz friend says lighter sentence deserved for cooperation

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A former Florida tax collector whose arrest led to a federal investigation of U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz learns this week how much prison time he gets on charges of sex trafficking a minor and identity theft, but not before trying to persuade a judge that his cooperation in several probes should […]
7 hours ago
FILE - Four of the cooling towers of the Dukovany nuclear power plant rise high above the natural s...
Associated Press

3 energy companies vying to build new Czech nuke reactor

PRAGUE (AP) — Three energy companies including U.S. Westinghouse, France’s EdF and Korea’s KHNP will by vying to build the Czech Republic’s newest reactor at the Dukovany nuclear power station, authorities said Wednesday, as the country strives to become more energy independent and wean itself of fossil fuels. State-controlled power company CEZ says final bids […]
7 hours ago
La Jolla Country Day high school basketball player Jada Williams poses for a portrait Monday, Sept....
Associated Press

Changes let high school athletes bank big endorsement bucks

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Jada Williams was a social media star and a talented point guard when she moved with her mother from a Kansas City suburb to San Diego, looking to play basketball for a high school powerhouse and parlay her online prowess into endorsement deals. She found it all in California, which has […]
7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
SCHWARTZ LASER EYE CENTER

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
US data reveals racial gaps in monkeypox vaccinations