GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, is responding to the announcement from the White House National Monkeypox Response Team regarding a new equity intervention program to expand monkeypox virus (MPV) vaccine access for vulnerable communities, and to LGBTQ-focused events nationwide.
The Biden administration will now allocate 10,000 doses of the JYNNEOS vaccine to local health departments for use in smaller-scale equity interventions, such as community health clinics or events for LGBTQ people of color. The announcement follows the publication of CDC data revealing significant racial disparities in MPV vaccine distribution. Black people account for one-third of MPV cases in the U.S., and have received just 10.5% of vaccine doses, as GLAAD addressed in a recent blog post.
More than 18,000 cases of MPV have been reported in the U.S.; the vast majority are among gay and bi men and men who have sex with men. Limited testing capacity and data collection have made it difficult to accurately gauge the nuances of this public health emergency. CDC officials said in a briefing last Friday that they are committed to making MPV case and vaccine distribution data actionable and publicly available.
STATEMENT FROM SARAH KATE ELLIS, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF GLAAD, VIA TWITTER AND BELOW:
“The monkeypox (MPV) outbreak is shedding light on existing racial inequities in our nation’s healthcare system. Public health officials at all levels of government must continue to prioritize accurate and inclusive information to educate all communities about MPV, and accelerate and expand vaccine access to heavily affected populations, particularly Black and Latinx LGBTQ people. Equitability is essential for public health and to protect the most vulnerable among us.”
The White House announcement on Tuesday noted additional vaccines and support will be sent to states and cities hosting events for large groups of LGBTQ people, specifically gay, bi and other men who have sex with men.
Last week, the Biden administration also announced that the U.S. will soon be able to provide two doses of the vaccine to the 1.6 million Americans at risk of MPV exposure or infection. This accelerated vaccine rollout is the result of the FDA’s emergency use authorization of intradermal injection of the JYNNEOS vaccine, which has greatly extended the overall vaccine supply.
Another CDC report revealed that roughly one-half gay and bi men and men who have sex with men are temporarily altering personal behaviors to protect themselves and their partners from MPV. Reducing the number of sex partners, reducing one-time sexual encounters, and talking to partners about any potential MPV symptoms, can help prevent transmission.gladd.org
About GLAAD: GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBTQ acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love. For more information, please visit www.glaad.org or connect with GLAAD on Facebook and Twitter.