The local monkeypox emergency ends not with a bang, but with a whimper. Last month, Gov. Kathy Hochul’s statewide order expired after an extension in September. The city’s state of emergency, which was announced on August 1, is also reportedly over The New York Times.
“They don’t talk about monkeypox anymore because we fought our way through it,” Mayor Eric Adams said at a Nov. 10 forum.
Monkeypox, now dubbed MPV by the city due to previous misleading and stigmatizing connotations, is on the wane here in the Big Apple. More than three daily cases have been counted since the beginning of November, although the month also ushered in new reporting standards for vaccination rates and the city warns that this could provide less accurate data. When the state of emergency was declared, about a quarter of the cases reported nationally were in NYC.
The city also notes that black and brown New Yorkers were most affected by MPV. On November 17, Hispanic infection rates led the way at 1,303; 1,023 cases have been reported among black New Yorkers. And across racial and ethnic lines, non-heterosexual men have been affected most dramatically. Despite racial differences in infection rates, black New Yorkers lag significantly behind in vaccination rates compared to their white and Hispanic counterparts, according to city reports. So far, only 13,179 have received their first dose. Only 6,025 got their second. And first-dose immunization numbers in Manhattan have easily surpassed the outer boroughs at around 43,000, with Brooklyn coming second with around 27,000 first doses administered.
On November 14, NYC Health + Hospitals transitioned from mobile mass vaccination centers to multiple stationary locations, including five of the nonprofit’s PRIDE health centers. The previous program started around the start of Adams’ emergency prescription and is responsible for more than 2,500 first doses and 750 second doses.
“The city responded to MPV by making the vaccine available in the clinics of our trusted NYC Health + Hospitals along with mobile units that founded our approach on equity by making the vaccine available to all New Yorkers without exception,” the senior vice said President of NYC Health + Hospitals Ted Lang. “Our mobile MPV immunization efforts, guided by the dedicated leadership and trusted experience of our LGBTQIA+ community advocates and partners, have pushed the line where people can effectively get the sexual health resources they need and broken down barriers to ensure that those most at risk can receive the full protection of the vaccine.”
New Yorkers can find MPV vaccines across the city at https://vaccinefinder.nyc.gov/.
Tandy Lau is a member of the Report for America Corps and writes on public safety for the Amsterdam News. Your donation of our RFA grant helps him write stories like this; Please consider making a tax-deductible gift of any amount today by visiting: https://bit.ly/amnews1