SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Statistics released by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that while white Americans are getting monkeypox less than Black and Latino Americans, they are getting more vaccine doses.
The CDC announced Sept. 13 that it has administered 540,150 doses of Jynneos, a smallpox vaccine that is being used to prevent infection with the monkeypox virus, in the 39 jurisdictions that have reported numbers to the agency.
Of those, of those whose racial or ethnic background is available, 204,006 doses (37.7% of the total) went to white, non-Hispanic people, 91,280 doses (16.8%) went to Hispanic people, 50,475 doses (9.3%) went to Black, non-Hispanic people, and 31,644 (5.8%) went to Asian, non-Hispanic people.
But CDC stats show that the racial and ethnic distribution of cases is radically different. When taken together, this suggests vaccines are not getting to those most in need.
Black Americans account for 41% of total monkeypox cases reported to the CDC as of Sept. 4. Twenty-seven percent are among Hispanic and/or Latino Americans, 26% are among white Americans and 3% are among Asian Americans.
The disparity has led some groups to try to address it; for example, the Leather and LGBTQ Cultural District in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood stated it was “prioritizing Black, Latinx, POC, & trans people” at its next pop-up clinic on Sunday at 3 p.m. at Eagle Plaza, near the historic bar.
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(The announcement clarifies, however, that gay and bisexual men, and sex workers of all sexual orientations and gender identities, are eligible to receive a dose at this time and place.)
The San Francisco AIDS Foundation and District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, who represents the predominantly LGBTQ Castro neighborhood on the city’s board of supervisors, did not respond to a request for comment for this report as of press time.