Vaccine and test delay for monkeypox echo failure in early covid reaction

Andy Stone is one of the lucky ones. Seen by a resident of New York City A tweet A local AIDS activist says the monkeypox vaccine will be available at a clinic in Manhattan that day. Stone, 35, and her husband had just booked an appointment online and received their shots last month.

“I want to do what I can to protect myself and others,” said Stone, a marketing consultant in Brooklyn, who said his primary care doctor advised him to get the vaccine as soon as possible.

Hundreds of men who showed up without an appointment and waited in a talking line around the Chelsea Sexual Health Clinic were not lucky that day. According to Eric Butcher, a member of the New York City Council, the 200 available shots went off quickly and many people moved away, including in the vicinity of the district Chelsea. When people tried to make an appointment online for the next day, no one was available, he said A letter from state officials An urgent dose of the vaccine is being requested.

The first monkeypox case in the United States was confirmed in mid-May. As of July 6, the number of monkeypox cases nationwide had reached 605, with some public health experts seeing echoes of the Covid-19 in response to the government’s halt.

“We’re in six weeks, and we’re still having problems with the availability of tests and vaccines, all of the problems we’ve seen with Covid,” said Greg Gonsalves, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health. “Now, the possibilities for control are rapidly declining.”

MonkeyPix is ​​not cowardly. Covid has killed more than 1 million Americans, but no one died of the monkeypox infection in the United States at the time of the current outbreak. People simply enter a room and cannot get monkeypox by breathing in the same air as an infected person.

The monkeypox virus, which belongs to the same family as smallpox, usually causes a pimple-like sore on the face, hands, legs, chest, or genitals with fever and swollen lymph nodes. Until wounds heal and heal, people can infect others through close physical contact or by touching things like a bed in contact with the rash. Humans usually recover from monkeypox within two to four weeks.

Most of the infections detected so far have been in men who have had sex with men and in most cases in Europe. But the World Health Organization reported July 1 that cases were rising among other groups – in some cases, among family members, in heterosexual contact and among children. According to the WHO, up to 10% of patients are hospitalized.

Two vaccines are available to protect humans from monkeypox, genius and ACAM2000. Federal officials are focusing on giving Jynneos given in two doses at 28-day intervals, as it has fewer side effects and can be administered to those who are immunocompromised, which ACAM2000 cannot. The federal government has so far distributed more than 800 doses of the ACAM2000 vaccine.

At the moment, however, vaccine delivery is just a strategy, and front-line healthcare providers say they need more doses now.

In recent days, federal officials have announced a three-pronged response to the outbreak of monkeypox, including increased vaccine deployment, easier access to testing, and a campaign to educate the public and providers about the disease and to promote vaccination among the most at-risk people, especially L + Of the community.

“While monkeypox poses minimal risk to most Americans, we are doing our best to vaccinate people at high risk of contracting the virus,” Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Besser said in a statement. “This new strategy allows us to maximize the supply of currently available vaccines and reach those who are most at risk for the current outbreak.”

Initially, the Federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that people be vaccinated only if they came in contact with someone infected with monkeypox. Federal guidelines have been extended to a much larger group, including sex with men who have recently had multiple sexual partners in places where monkeypox has been reported.

On July 1, the CDC said it had purchased additional doses of the Genius vaccine made by the Bavarian Nordic A / S, bringing the total number of doses available in 2022 and 2023 to 4 million. On July 6, the federal government said it had distributed 41,520 “patient courses” of the vaccine in 42 trials.

One picture shows Andy Stone sitting at home.
Andy Stone received a monkeypox vaccine at a clinic in New York City last month. A Brooklyn resident immediately booked an appointment after seeing an online announcement, but hundreds of other men were turned away due to a lack of vaccine supplies.(Andy Stone)

New York City received the initial 1,000 doses that were made available to the Chelsea Clinic, but then received nothing more for about two weeks. In Washington, D.C., 300 vaccine appointments found at the end of June were reportedly taken within minutes. In Los Angeles, 800 vaccine doses have been distributed to people in close contact with people infected with the disease until July 1. In a news release, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said that as the vaccine supply increases, it will provide higher doses to high-risk groups.

In early July, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said it had approved about 6,000 additional doses of the vaccine, which would make it available to clinics in two cities. A Software error However, recruitment efforts have stopped. They are scheduled to start again next week. Department of Urban Health Twitter feed Residents ’anger has chronicled his stalled efforts to get vaccines and scheduled appointments.

“Our vendor @medrite_ sincerely apologizes for the technical issues encountered in today’s MonkeyPix vaccine appointment rollout,” Tweets New York City Health Commissioner Ashwin Bhasan. “We promise to do better in the days and weeks ahead.”

The city has recorded 141 cases of monkeypox, officials said.

There will be a drop in the dose bucket for New York, advocates say. At three clinics in New York City, the Callen-Lord Community Health Center serves 20,000 primarily LGBTQ + patients, many of whom are interested in the vaccine, center officials said.

“We are promoting the vaccine and working closely with patients to find access,” said Anthony Fortenberry, chief nursing officer at Callen-Lord. “But at the moment, there are very few vaccines available, and it’s much less than the demand.” The health center has seen 15 monkeypox patients so far, four of them a week ago, he said.

The US Department of Health and Human Services did not respond to requests for information about vaccines and testing availability.

Epidemiologists say speeding tests for the disease are also hampering the country’s ability to cope with the outbreak of monkeypox. Without extensive testing and contact detection, the extent of the outbreak is not clear.

“Right now, we have no idea if this is the tip of the iceberg,” said Jennifer Nujo, an epidemiologist at Brown University’s School of Public Health.

To date, monkeypox testing has been conducted by a network of public health laboratories and, according to some critics, requires a complex procedure that many physicians are not familiar with. “If you’re an average physician, you’ve probably never sent a sample to a public health lab,” said Dr. James Lawler, executive director of the International Center for Health Security and Innovation at the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Global Center for Health Security. .

As part of an expanded effort announced by federal officials, five large commercial labs will begin testing this month, dramatically increasing capacity.

Systemic improvements provide little relief to those at risk at the moment.

Charles Rockhill said he had a nightmare of being a monkeypox. “I am just worried. I work at a gay bar, “said a Manhattan resident.” I’ve been around a lot of people all the time. ” Unable to get a vaccine, he wears gloves at work and washes his hands often at work.

“I’m just trying to make the best decision for myself and hopefully I don’t get infected,” he said.

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