why does it matter: Across the country, health officials worry that the outbreak could become the country’s second major public health disaster in many years if we don’t act faster to contain it.
what are they saying: “It’s something we can contain, but it’s going to take quite a bit of effort. I think we’re behind,” says George Benjamin, who leads the American Public Health Association.
context: There are more than 5,000 known cases of monkeypox in the United States and no deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Urban areas with large numbers of LGBTQ+ I have felt the brunt of the injuries thus far.
- “Given that gay, bisexual and transgender men are the hardest hit, it has unfortunately become clear that we are once again left behind,” Scott Weiner, the leading California Democratic legislator representing San Francisco, said in a statement.
- Officials in San Francisco and New York declared a public health emergency last week.
Zoom: The California Department of Health told Axios that it estimates 800,000 doses are needed from the federal government — but has so far received fewer than 37,200.
- In Washington, D.C., health officials say they have put more than 7,000 rounds into the arms of the two-dose regimen — a relatively high number. But that still only meets 10 percent of the city’s projected needs, officials said during a city council meeting last week. Appointments are so hard to come by that some residents go to neighboring counties to get shots, reminiscent of the COVID-19 vaccine crisis.
What is happening: States’ access to vaccines is limited because the federal government is only able to purchase doses from one company in Denmark. Countries can request the number of doses they want from the amount allotted to them.
- Some jurisdictions, including DC, Houston and Chicago, have raised their stakes to the limit, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation report.
- Others, including Georgia, Arkansas and Montana, requested less than 50% of their stake.
Officials recently announced They purchased the last 2.5 million doses of Jynneos vaccine to add to the national stockpile and said they would immediately release 131,000 doses.
The Big Picture: Benjamin, of the American Public Health Association, says that if President Biden declares a public health emergency, it will allow the federal government to move funding faster to the countries that need it most.
- It would also sound the alarm more clearly, prompting more people to protect themselves.
playing condition: Several health departments across the country have told Axios that they are prioritizing high-risk populations and at this time foregoing a second dose of the two-dose regimen to administer as many of the first doses as possible.
- Chicago, a hotspot with cases reaching 419, has received more than 4,600 doses. Illinois Governor JB Pritzker declared a state of emergency on Monday to expand resources and coordination efforts.
- The Department of Health told Axios, another state delaying a second vaccine, that it has received nearly 3,400 doses of the vaccine, realizing that more doses are “not likely to become widely available in the near term.” The ministry said its supplies were “limited”, but it could not say how much it would need because the outbreak was “evolving”. As of yesterday, Michigan had not yet exhausted its supply.
- Arizona has fewer than 3,600 doses and is expecting another shipment towards the end of August. “We don’t know how many doses will be available at that time,” admitted Steve Elliott, a spokesperson for the state health department.
Yes, but: Some places say it runs better. Dallas officials say their shipment of 5,100 doses should be enough if cases remain low. Texas has 351 confirmed cases.
- Iowa — which has a population of 3.15 million and 10 cases — has enough vaccines to fully vaccinate 300 people.
Bottom line: State and local officials don’t know when the new doses will arrive, but they worry it won’t be soon enough.
“Unfortunately, Because our federal government failed to act quickly to obtain the vaccine supplies needed to prevent an outbreak, we are now in a public health emergency that will only escalate,” said Weiner, the California lawmaker.
Axios Local’s Chelsea Ceroso and Conet Dell report from Washington, D.C. Nick Baston in San Francisco; Annalize Frank in Detroit; Jeremy Duda in Phoenix; Carrie Piffer in Richmond; Jason Clayworth of Des Moines. Monica Eng and Justin Kaufman of Chicago contributed to this report.