Sep 16, 2022 - Health

CDC launches pilot to close equity gaps in monkeypox response

Illustration of a small syringe casting a large shadow.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday launched a pilot program to set aside up to 50,000 doses of JYNNEOS monkeypox vaccine for groups disproportionately affected by the outbreak who've faced barriers accessing the shots.

The big picture: White men have received more than twice as many doses as either Hispanic or Black men who account for the majority of confirmed monkeypox cases.

How it works: State, local and tribal health departments will apply for doses to be administered at pop-ups or other events in non-clinical settings, in coordination with community-based organizations.

  • The CDC set aside 10,000 JYNNEOS doses, which are typically administered using a method of vaccination that uses only one-fifth of a dose.

Background: Concerns about equity have intensified amid signs the outbreak may be plateauing. Federal data suggest 47% of the 540,000 doses of JYNNEOS have been given nationwide have gone to white people.

  • But white people accounted for just 25% of the confirmed cases last week.

What they're saying: "We're now entering the harder phase of the vaccination campaign, while we work to get first doses into arms and use hyper-local strategies," Demetre Daskalakis, deputy White House monkeypox response coordinator, told reporters.

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