The local monkeypox state of emergency ends not with a bang but with a whimper. Last month, Gov. Kathy Hochul’s statewide order expired after an extension in September. The city’s state of emergency, which was announced on Aug. 1, is also quietly over, reports The New York Times.
“You’re not talking about monkeypox anymore because we weathered us through this,” said Mayor Eric Adams at a Nov. 10 forum.
Monkeypox, now referred as MPV by the city due to previous misleading and stigmatizing connotations, is subsiding here in the Big Apple. An upwards of just three daily cases were tallied since November started, although the month also ushered in new reporting standards for vaccination rates and the city warns it may yield less accurate data. When the state of emergency was declared, around a quarter of nationwide cases reported were in NYC.
The city also finds Black and brown New Yorkers were the most affected by MPV. As of Nov. 17, Hispanic infection rates led the way with 1,303; 1,023 cases were reported among Black New Yorkers. And across racial and ethnic lines, non-straight men were the most dramatically impacted. Despite racial disparities in infection rates, the city reports Black New Yorkers trail significantly behind in vaccination rates compared to their white and Hispanic counterparts. So far, only 13,179 have gotten their first dose. Just 6,025 have gotten their second. And first dose vaccination numbers in Manhattan at around 43,000 have significantly outpaced the outer boroughs, with Brooklyn at a distant second with around just 27,000 first doses administered.
On Nov. 14, NYC Health + Hospitals moved on from mass, mobile vaccination sites to several brick-and-mortar locations, including five of the public benefit corporation’s PRIDE Health Centers. The previous program was launched around the start of Adams’ emergency order and is responsible for more than 2,500 first doses and 750 second doses.
“The City responded to MPV by providing the vaccine in our trusted NYC Health + Hospitals’ clinics, along with mobile units that grounded our approach in equity by bringing the vaccine to all New Yorkers without exception,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Senior Vice President Ted Long. “Our mobile MPV vaccination effort, guided by the dedicated leadership and trusted experience of our LGBTQIA+ community advocates and partners, pushed the envelope of where people can effectively receive the sexual health resources they need, removing barriers to ensure that those most at risk could receive the full protection of the vaccine.”
New Yorkers can find MPV vaccines around the city at https://vaccinefinder.nyc.gov/.
Tandy Lau is a Report for America corps member and writes about public safety for the Amsterdam News. Your donation to match our RFA grant helps keep him writing stories like this one; please consider making a tax-deductible gift of any amount today by visiting: https://bit.ly/amnews1