But the sudden drop in vaccination rates has local health departments and public health experts worried that the population could soon be immune to the monkeypox threat, leaving unvaccinated people vulnerable and open to the virus spreading indefinitely.

So far, 461,049 doses of the vaccine have been administered, according to CDC data from 34 states and New York City. That is 14 percent of the 3.2 million doses needed to fully vaccinate with two vaccines, the 1.6 million people the government says are at high risk.

50 percent of the shots used were white recipients, 13 percent for black people, 24 percent for Hispanic individuals, and 9 percent for those in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. .

Last month, federal health officials said making vaccinations available for large LGBTQ events could help curb the epidemic because men who have sex with men make up the majority of cases, and black and Latino communities are disproportionately affected. But the pilot project’s inconsistent results show how the landscape is changing.

Event organizers received enough vaccinations to provide the vaccine to 2,000 people at Pride in Charlotte earlier this month, but 540 received the vaccine. In Oakland, 553 people received 553 of the 1,200 vaccines allocated for the Pride event over Labor Day weekend. And in New Orleans, about 3,350 people were shot before and during the Southern Decadence, which was not used in large numbers. Atlanta Black Pride had more success, with nearly 4,000 volumes issued out of the 5,500 assigned.

Local health officials are continuing to participate in smaller events, but they attribute low attendance at most of the larger ones to a variety of challenges, including the weather, the timing of vaccinations and the difficulty of viewers thinking about health care. While having fun.

Additionally, the numbers may indicate a need for new approaches similar to what happened with the Covid-19 shot, he said. After the surge in demand subsided, health departments moved from preparing as many vaccines as possible to holding smaller, more targeted events to educate about the disease and convince them of the benefits of the vaccine.

The White House has said it never expects all of the amounts allocated for large-scale events to be used and will continue to roll out future vaccinations, such as the Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco.

He also said he will work closely with local authorities and community organizations on how to target hard-to-reach people. Last week, it allocated 10,000 doses to smaller outreach efforts, part of a pilot program Daskalakis said now aims to “penetrate communities” and close the gap in vaccination rates among different demographics.

But as the epidemic began to slow down, with the rate of new cases now declining, so did vaccine uptake. After HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra declared a public health emergency, the weekly dose of the drug has been declining since a peak of 86,816 dispensed in the week in early August, with 31,229 dispensed in the week of Aug. 28 to Sept. 3.

That’s where the epidemic is at, says Anand Parekh, chief medical adviser at the Washington, D.C., Bipartisan Policy Center.

“I didn’t expect it to go down so quickly,” he said. “Even if you think that’s a low estimate, we still have a ways to go.”

Parekh worries that the declining prevalence of the disease is affecting people’s sense of urgency. “So that’s not going to convince people who are on the fence about getting the vaccine, ‘OK, cases are going to go down. It’s not a big deal anyway,” he said.

From September 12 21,894 people The United States has more cases of monkeypox than any other country affected by the global pandemic. The disease can cause flu-like symptoms and a painful rash. So far, the spread of the disease in the U.S. has not been as virulent as it has been in parts of Africa. The Los Angeles Department of Public Health reported on September 12 the first death from monkeypox in the United States, involving a severely immunocompromised resident.

Local public health officials say they support the administration’s targeted campaign, but wonder where the money to expand it will come from. of The White House has asked Congress for $4.5 billion Response to monkeypox in the United States and abroad, however Republican senators are close on the price.

Because of this, some local health departments are holding community events to raise Covid relief dollars.

“It’s a very heavy, long stick. It’s too easy to say, ‘We’ve opened a big vaccination center in the Superdome, everybody’s coming.’ “It’s a lot easier logistically to do that than to say, like, OK, we’re going to be in different little places every other day,” said Jennifer Avegno, director of the New Orleans Department of Health. But if you’re going to put your money into something, I think it’s money well spent.

‘A little touch and go’

New Orleans learned its lesson in February 2020, when Mardi Gras became the state’s first high-profile Covid-19 event. City health officials didn’t want Southern Decadence, the multi-day Labor Day weekend event known as ‘Gay Mardi Gras,’ to become a repeat of the monkey disease.

In June, local officials began working with their regional counterparts to put the incident on the CDC’s radar. On July 8, they requested additional vaccines to be used before and during Decadence. But it was two weeks before the event that the scale was coming, Avegno said.

“How do we use the little we have?” We had an end date plan. We really started to push, push, push, but we were very concerned about not having extra stuff to give away at the big events,” Avegno said. “It was a little touch and go.”

Finally, New Orleans was given 1,200 vials of vaccine, a maximum of 6,000 doses.

The week before Decadence, the city shuts down two blocks in the French Quarter for a “Vaxxtravaganza” street party with stilt walkers and DJs. Between that and other events in New Orleans and across Louisiana before Labor Day weekend, health officials used their allocations to vaccinate 2,500 people. And in Decadence itself – in the rain – the city gave a shot to 850 people in five days. “I would love to give away 1,200 bottles,” Avegno said. But I think we did the best we could.

Health authorities in other cities faced similar problems. In Oakland, they braved record-breaking heat as they proudly administered vaccinations over Labor Day weekend. And last month in Charlotte, they had trouble convincing people who came to a party to get the vaccine.

“A lot of people didn’t want to get vaccinated during the holidays because they wanted to drink, they wanted to celebrate,” said Mecklenburg County Public Health Director Raynard Washington.

Local health officials said they would look into any incident where they were able to successfully vaccinate someone. But the decline in interest in shots means they need to invest more energy in reaching people at smaller, community-based events — just as they did with the Covid-19 shots.

“We’re now at the point where we can get the most vulnerable people to get the vaccine,” said Dr. Stockton Meyer, MD, of the Department of Infectious Diseases at UI Health in Chicago.

While large-scale events are important during vaccination campaigns, smaller events are needed to fill in the gaps, said Mark Del Becaro, deputy director of Covid testing and immunization programs in King County, where Seattle is located. Seattle has vaccinated only half of the 20,000 people it initially identified as being at high risk of contracting monkeypox, and demand for the vaccine is dwindling, he said.

“I think if you combine the two [strategies]Yes, they can help solve equity problems. If you throw all the balls into one field, it’s not that good,” Del Becaro said. “And if you’re going to do that, I’d say a smaller group that looks at communities of color is probably more valuable than a larger one.”

‘hit hard’

By early August, the monkey disease in Georgia was occurring at an alarming rate: 82 percent of the known cases were in black men, although black individuals comprised 31 Percent of state population.

As Atlanta Black Pride approaches over Labor Day weekend, local health officials said A Vision 4 Hope, an Atlanta-based organization that has provided health care services and screenings in the local black LGBTQ community for years.

“We were in a very affected community and had a built-in relationship,” said Jeffrey Roman, the group’s program director.

Vision 4 Hope received shots from the state and shot them for five days in parking lots, local bars and house parties. “We would bring it and people were already lined up,” Roman said. “In fact, we used to go around 4 o’clock every night.”

Ultimately, the Atlanta Black Pride vaccination drive was a success, with more than 70 percent of the allotted dose used.

The White House hopes similar relationships will help overcome vaccine barriers among communities of color. As of mid-August, of the 6,000 or more cases of monkeypox for which the CDC had racial and ethnic data, about 35 percent of cases were in white individuals, 33 percent in Hispanic individuals, and about 28 percent in black individuals.

Under the new pilot program, states and local health departments that have used more than 50 percent of vaccines can apply for up to 100 bottles or vials. up to Daskalakis said 500 doses are needed for a “minimum equity intervention to reach populations that could benefit from monkeypox.”

He describes an “equity intervention” as “what works to reach people in your state, county or city that we can’t reach, particularly people of color and the LGBTQI+ population.”

On September 6, HHS announced that the number of weekly shipping and delivery locations to which monkey vaccines and treatments are being shipped from the national inventory is increasing.

Claire Hannan, executive director of the Association of Vaccine Administrators, said it would help expand access to vaccines in smaller areas.

She said the slowdown in vaccination numbers may not reflect a permanent decline in demand. This may be because some local health departments are switching to a post-exposure to pre-exposure vaccination strategy, and unlike with Covid-19 vaccines, medical providers are not required to report monkeypox rates to government health officials. She said that they gave vaccination.

It’s hard to say what the long-term demand for a monkeypox vaccine will be, she said. “I don’t think anyone is really looking at the meaning of it these days.”

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