New York Governor Cathy Hochhol issued an executive order on Friday declaring a state of disaster emergency in response to the monkeypox outbreak.
New York is the epicenter of the outbreak in the United States, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that there are currently 1,345 confirmed cases of monkeypox and orthopoxvirus in the Empire State.
“After reviewing the latest data on the outbreak of monkeypox in New York State, I am declaring a state of disaster emergency to reinforce our ongoing aggressive efforts to respond to this outbreak,” the leader wrote in a statement.
“There is more than one in four cases of monkeypox in this country in New York State, and we need to use every tool in our arsenal during our response. It is especially important to recognize the ways this outbreak is currently disproportionately affecting some groups. That’s why my team and I are working around the clock to secure more vaccines, expand testing capabilities and responsibly educate the public about how to stay safe during the outbreak.”
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Hochhol said on Twitter that the order would enable the state government to “respond more quickly” and help the state’s vaccination efforts.
Specifically, the demand extends to the pool of qualified individuals who are able to administer the vaccine, including EMS personnel, pharmacists, and midwives.
It also allows accredited physicians and nurse practitioners to issue standing non-patient orders for vaccines and requires providers to submit vaccine data to the New York State Department of Health.
On Thursday, the Empire State Health Commissioner Monkeypox declared an “imminent threat” public health”.
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“Based on the ongoing spread of this virus, which has increased rapidly and has primarily affected communities defined as MSM, and the need for local jurisdictions to administer vaccines, I have declared monkeypox to be an imminent threat to public health worldwide,” the commissioner said. State Health Dr. Mary T. Bassett in New York State’s statement. “This announcement means that local health departments engaged in response and prevention activities will be able to access additional compensation from the state, after maximizing other federal and state funding sources, to protect all New Yorkers and ultimately reduce the spread of monkeypox in our communities.”
Hochul then announced that 110,000 doses of monkeypox vaccine had been secured for the state, which will be delivered over the next four to six weeks.
Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra announced Thursday that an additional 786,000 doses of the vaccine will be deployed nationwide.
“Our goal is to stay ahead of this virus and end this outbreak. We have a strategy to deploy these additional doses of vaccine in a way that protects those at risk and limits the spread of the virus, while also working with states to ensure fair and equitable distribution.” “These vaccines are the result of years of investment and federal planning.”
On a call, Becerra told reporters the same day that the Biden administration believed it had “done everything we could at the federal level to work with … states, local partners, and affected communities to make sure we could stay ahead and end this outbreak.”
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.