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Schumer: 80,000 Monkeypox Vaccine Doses Coming to NYC in Huge Fed Stockpile Release

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What to Know

  • NYC topped 1,000 confirmed monkeypox/orthopoxvirus cases on Monday and now accounts for 25% of the largest-ever U.S. outbreak of the disease, which is typically confined to the African continent
  • A vaccine is available but supply is intensely limited. Appointments are getting snapped up as soon as they become available, with 17,000 gone within 30 minutes of dropping on Friday
  • U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer said Thursday the government is releasing another 786,000 vaccine doses from the federal stockpile. More than 10% of them are going to New York City

The U.S. government will release nearly 800,000 more monkeypox vaccine doses from the federal stockpile, allocating more than 10% of them to the epicenter of America’s outbreak, New York City, U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer says.

The Democratic senator from New York is expected to officially announce later Thursday the release of 786,000 additional vials from the stockpile. The doses are allocated based on case burden and high-risk population, he says, which is why 80,000-plus of them will go to the five boroughs. New York state will receive 30,000 doses, Schumer is expected to say.

It comes as New York City’s monkeypox outbreak balloons to at least 1,114 cases as of health officials’ latest report. That total, widely believed to be significantly underreported, still accounts for 25% of the burgeoning national caseload. Thousands of vaccine appointments are continuously being scooped up within a half-hour of opening, and the state has warned New Yorkers in recent allocation rounds that they may be insufficient to cover everyone eligible who wants one.

Thursday’s federal stockpile release is part of a series of intensifying efforts to contain America’s still-growing and already largest-ever monkeypox outbreak. Anyone can get the disease, but the vaccine already exists, unlike with COVID-19.

“As we learned throughout the pandemic, vaccines not only save lives, but they contain the spread of the virus. Containing Monkeypox, our latest public health challenge, demands the same kind of resolve and focus,” Schumer said. “For weeks, I have been on the phone with each and every agency working to overcome monkeypox. We know our biggest hurdle right now is that we need more vaccines, and I’ve told the FDA, we need those vaccines in New York state.” 

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Calling the latest allocations a “big win for public health, and New York,” Schumer acknowledged more work must be done, “but today marks a critical step in that fight and delivers a huge sigh of relief to New Yorkers waiting for their monkeypox vaccine. More are on the way.”

As of Thursday, the CDC reports nearly 4,639 confirmed monkeypox or orthopox virus (the same family) cases across the United States. Vermont, Wyoming and Montana remain the only three states without a confirmed case, though that doesn’t mean monkeypox isn’t already spreading in those areas.

Earlier this week, Dr. Anthony Fauci called the outbreak a “serious problem” said the White House was considered establishing a monkeypox coordinator role similar to its COVID one to streamline response, distribution and other outreach efforts.

Source: NBC New York

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