New York state this week will receive more than 32,000 additional doses of the monkeypox vaccine as advocates and state lawmakers criticize what they have called a fumbling response to the outbreak.
Gov. Kathy Hochul in a statement said the additional 32,785 doses for the vaccine will be coming to New York state this week. The state, along with New York City, has received more than 28,000 doses so far.
"While the national supply remains limited, New York State will continue its strenuous advocacy to secure additional allocations that meet the needs of New York given the disproportionate number of monkeypox cases, especially within our LGBTQ+ communities, which have been hit especially hard," Hochul said in a Friday statement. "We will continue to work closely with the Biden Administration to ensure New York gets its fair share of monkeypox vaccines. As part of our overall monkeypox response, my team and I are committed to working around the clock to secure as many vaccines as possible for New Yorkers, ensure equitable resource allocation within our LGBTQ+ communities, and distribute the latest tools and information."
Democratic lawmakers in New York, as well as LGBTQ advocates, have pressured federal officials to do more with vaccine access. Hochul's announcement came hours after state Sen. Brad Hoylman and Assemblywoman Jessica González-Rojas released a letter to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the White House and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to increase the vaccine supply.
As of last week, New York has confirmed 34% of the monkeypox cases in the country, but has received only about 14% of the vaccine supply, the lawmakers wrote in the letter.
"Government has a history of neglecting and failing to provide healthcare to LGBTQ communities and we will not allow it anymore," González-Rojas said. "While I’m grateful for the response we have seen thus far, there is simply not enough vaccine supply to match the need, particularly in New York City and state, which has the majority of monkeypox cases. We need more vaccines and antivirals from our federal partners, and we need to ensure that Black, Indigenous, and other people of color are getting vaccinated. We can have all of the vaccines we want, but if we don’t equitably vaccinate all communities in an equitable manner then we are still failing."