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Monkeypox

White House says administration is scaling up monkeypox efforts

“We’ve been working with community health partners, members of the LGBT community, and others to ensure that we are getting out good info”

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Dr. Ashish Jha participates in a press briefing, Tuesday, April 26, 2022 (Official White House File Photo by Cameron Smith)

WASHINGTON – Speaking with reporters Tuesday during in a press briefing, White House COVID-19 response coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha addressed the ongoing monkeypox outbreak and the administration’s response.

Referencing the declaration by Dr. Tedros the Director-General of the the World Health Organization labeling monkeypox a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, Dr. Jha told the press corps that the declaration by was a call to action to the world community to stop the spread of this virus. 
 
“The international community must work together to protect individuals that have been impacted by monkeypox and those most at risk of contracting the virus.  WHO’s declaration will allow the United States and other partners to better collaborate, to share data, and to get critical information out to high-risk communities,” Jha said. 

Pivoting to the Biden Administration’s response he noted, “Here at home, since the earliest days of this outbreak in the U.S. in mid-May, the Biden administration has deployed a robust, comprehensive strategy to combat monkeypox.  Our strategy has four key pillars, and I want to go through them.”

Jha then detailed the efforts by the federal government:

First is to dramatically scale up procurement, production, and distribution of vaccines.  Second is to significantly expand access to testing.  Third is to significantly expand access to treatments.  And fourth is outreach to communities most affected by the virus.

We have been working around the clock to ramp up our response and to make important progress in short order.  To date, we have distributed more than 300,000 vaccines to jurisdictions around the country.  We have procured more vaccines than any other country in the world, probably more than every other country in the world combined. 

FDA is working quickly to finalize the approval of nearly 800,000 additional doses, and we are getting ready to ship these doses to jurisdictions once FDA has finally approved them.

We have 1.3 million doses of TPOXX, the treatment for smallpox that can also be used for monkeypox, in our stockpile.  And we are working day and night to make access to that treatment easier for providers around the country.

When the first case of monkeypox was confirmed in the United States, we had the capacity to do 6,000 tests per week — much higher than demand — but we knew that testing at the time wasn’t as convenient for providers as it needed to be.  So the CDC immediately started working with five of the biggest commercial labs to get monkeypox testing going online so doctors can use their existing partnerships with commercial labs. 

Today, because of that work, there is capacity to do 80,000 tests per week, and we are continuing to do extensive outreach to providers to make testing easier. 

Jha then pointed out the fact that Biden Administration is keenly aware of the impact that monkeypox is having on the LGBTQ+ community.
 
Finally, we’ve been working on the ground with community health partners, members of the LGBT community, and others to ensure that we are getting out good information, that we are addressing concerns that they have, we are listening to their concerns,” he said. 
 
Jha told reporters that the federal government is taking the outbreak of the monkeypox virus seriously and is working on expanding access to testing, vaccines, and treatments, and “making sure that Americans understand what risks and challenges this virus faces and what the administration is doing to respond to it.”

When asked by a reporter, “Given the limited testing early on, how many more cases do you think there actually are right now in the United States than what we know about?”

Jha answered, “Yeah, so I would say — first of all, in terms of testing, you know, we had 6,000 tests available per week, which works out to about eight, nine hundred tests a day.  I don’t think testing capacity has been a major limitation.  One of the challenges has been that a lot of providers have found it difficult to actually order the tests.  That’s one of the reasons we brought in the national labs, because physicians are very comfortable using national labs. 

You know, obviously, we want to continue working on making sure testing is more and more widely available so that we’re tracking every case and identifying every case.  I don’t have a number of how many cases — further cases are out there, but I do expect, by the way, that as all these national labs now come online, as they have over the last week, I would not be surprised if we see an increase in cases as testing becomes more robust.  That’s a very normal part of any outbreak response — is that as testing ramps up, you tend to see an increase in cases because people can identify it more.”

Another reporter asked: “I guess the number is significantly higher than what we know right now?” In response Jha noted: “It’s very hard for me to make guesses on what the number is.  And I think the goal is to make testing easy, widespread, available so that people can order those tests.”

Jha was then asked: Just on the global response to monkeypox.  As we know, viruses don’t respect borders.  What is the U.S. able, willing, prepared to do to address that, especially since this affects communities that are often stigmatized, left out of public health interventions?” 

Jha replied: “Yeah, so we have had a very global — kind of a very strong engagement in the global community on monkeypox for years.  We have worked with multiple countries on the African continent where most of the disease has been endemic in the past.  We continue to have strong partnerships with multiple countries around building up laboratory capacity.  That same testing capacity we’re talking about here in the United States, it’s really essential that other countries have that as well.  We’re continuing that work. 

This outbreak obviously now is in many, many other countries as well.  And so we’re in constant conversations with our European colleagues, with colleagues in other parts of the world.  I think this public health emergency declaration will also further galvanize global response.  I’ll make a couple of more points.  I mean, the U.S. really, on monkeypox, has been a global leader.  We are the major funder of the company that makes the Jynneos vaccine.  We, in fact, have had a very large role to make sure that that vaccine exists and has come into being.

So U.S. global leadership on monkeypox, I think, is both longstanding, and we’re going to continue doing all of those things to make sure this really is a global response.”

In a follow-up Jha was asked:  “But any — any concrete deliverables that we might see?”

“Well, so we’re working with countries to do — so — and different countries have different needs,” Jha said and added, “Different countries have different technical needs.  So we are right now engaged in a lot of both bilateral and multilateral conversations with nations to figure out what help do they need, what kinds of technical and other kinds of expertise can we provide.”

After a series of back and forth over President Biden’s recent bout with the B.A.5 omicron variant of coronavirus the questions returned to monkeypox.

A reporter asked: “I wanted to go back to monkeypox and ask what the government’s response is to some of the backlash regarding the messaging and language that could perpetuate homophobia and transphobia, like we saw during the HIV epidemic?”

Jha answered: “Are there specific things you’re concerned about?  I mean, I think, very clear at this point that the community most affected is the LGBTQ community.  This is one of the reasons why I said we’ve been deeply engaged with them, both to share information, also to learn more and make sure that — that everybody is communicating in a way that’s both scientifically accurate and respectful. 

You know, obviously, it’s really important that we do not use this moment to propagate homophobic or transphobic messaging.  And I think it’s really important that we stick to the science, stick to the evidence, and do it in a way that’s respectful of people.”

The question arose over the federal government’s process for declaring monkeypox a health emergency:  “When will you decide, you know, whether it merits declaring a public — a public health emergency?  And what other factors would you need to look at?”

Jha:  “Yeah, it’s a good question.  This is a decision that’ll be made by Secretary Becerra, the Department of Health and Human Services.  You know, with any outbreak, that evaluation almost sort of begins day one.  People start looking at and thinking about, you know, when is that appropriate.  I think Secretary Becerra will make that decision when he thinks that doing so will help with the response. 

Obviously, a PHE opens up certain capabilities for the — for the Department of Health and Human Services.  I know those are conversations that are ongoing and continue, and that’ll be a decision made by Secretary Becerra.”

Dr. Jha was then asked: “And on the monkeypox vaccine, you know, is there consideration of invoking the DPA to produce more of it?  And how much do you estimate the U.S. would need total?”

Jha:  “Yeah, that’s a very good question.  Again, and I — what I will say is, right now we’ve — we have about 760, 780 thousand doses that we’re planning on making allocations about in the — in the next few days, pending FDA authorization, of course.

We’re looking at the company that makes it.  We’re looking at their ability to produce more.  We’re talking to them about contract manufacturing in the United States and being able to produce more vaccines here. 

So we’re looking at a whole range of options.  Obviously, if other tools that the federal government has at its disposal are helpful, we will be — we will not be shy about invoking those tools.  But right now, we are looking at these sets of factors to see how much more vaccine can we get in the United States.”

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Monkeypox

Center for Black Equity awarded grant to combat monkeypox

The grant funds the continuing fight against monkeypox misinformation and lack of access to vaccines & resources within minority communities

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Monkeypox JYNNEOS vaccine (Screenshot/YouTube CBS News)

WASHINGTON – The Center for Black Equity (CBE) has received a $50,000 grant supporting the center’s mission to raise awareness about monkeypox in Black and Latinx LGBTQ communities. The grant will also fund the center’s continuing fight against monkeypox misinformation and lack of access to vaccines and resources within these communities.

The grant, which is a part of a partnership with Gilead Pharmaceuticals, requires the CBE to demonstrate that it has the history and capacity to create and implement a community-wide initiative focusing on monkeypox education and boosting vaccination rates in the Black and Latinx LGBTQ communities.

The CBE is a coalition of international LGBTQ community members, Pride organizations, and community-based organizations that have conducted philanthropic and advocacy work in the LGBTQ community for more than 20 years.

Grant funds will be used in efforts to connect Black and Latinx LGBTQ persons with local community-based organizations that will provide accurate and up-to-date information on monkeypox, direct people to vaccination sites, and improve these communities’ access to monkeypox education and vaccines.

The official kickoff of the CBE’s monkeypox initiative started with a nationwide community leader talk.

“We brought together all of the Black Pride leaders from around the country to talk about monkeypox in their communities, what kind of resources they have, what has been the health department response and what do they need to do their work better,” CBE deputy director Kenya Hutton said.

The CBE will continue to host regular talks with community leaders to support the center’s goal of connecting the needs and voices of the Black and Latinx LGBTQ communities on a nationwide level.

“It’s going to get an idea of what it sounds like or what experiences are from community leaders on the ground level,” Hutton said.

Since monkeypox was officially labeled a public health emergency in the U.S., the LGBTQ community has been vocal about the misinformation surrounding the disease as well as limited resources for LGBTQ communities of color. Many have compared the public health response to monkeypox to the early response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980s.

“In the beginning, the information seemed to focus on white gay men,” Hutton said. “And even though they keep saying the number of monkeypox cases are decreasing, the numbers are increasing in the Black and Latinx communities.”

The CBE has an interactive map on its website where you can input your zip code and find permanent and pop-up vaccination sites near you. You can also sign up for the CBE’s biweekly newsletter with up-to-date monkeypox information online.

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Monkeypox

GLAAD examines impact of HIV, COVID, & MPV in new report

A new GLAAD report is out. Invisible People: A Retrospective Report On The Impacts of COVID & HIV In The United States

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By Darian Aaron | NEW YORK – On October 6, in a TIME Magazine exclusive, GLAAD released “Invisible People,” a first-of-its-kind report detailing the disruption caused by COVID-19 in the lives of people living with HIV. The 23-page report combines a comprehensive analysis of peer-reviewed scientific literature, qualitative interviews of people living with HIV, affected communities, and community-based organizations (CBOs) serving these populations. 

With research conducted by global market research company Ipsos and completed before the U.S. emergence of the monkeypox virus (MPV), GLAAD has included an MPV addendum to the report that elevates the disproportionate impact of MPV, HIV, and COVID-19 among Black Americans. Through data and first-person narratives, the report highlights the source of medical mistrust in Black communities, examines the lack of access to consistent healthcare during the pandemic, and most recently, inadequate access to the JYNNEOS MPV vaccine, despite the disproportionate occurrence of MPV among Black gay and bisexual men. 

GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis draws a parallel between the devastating outcomes for LGBTQ people of color across the three major health crises. 

“LGBTQ people and queer people of color are disproportionately affected in the pandemic, yet data collection didn’t begin for months to help guide responses and resources, and our voices were vastly underreported across the media,” Ellis says. “These are painful parallels to the early days of HIV/AIDS when GLAAD was formed to fight inaccuracy and invisibility.”

As of October 12, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed 27,022 MPV cases across the United States. A steady decline in new cases—a national seven-day moving average of 63 cases as of October 12—is attributed to vaccinations and behavioral changes among gay and bisexual men. However, data from the CDC confirms that while Black and Latino gay and bisexual men represent the overwhelming majority of MPV cases, white and Latino men have received their first dose of the vaccine at a much higher rate. 

The inequity in vaccine distribution and the reality that unvaccinated people are 14 times more likely to acquire MPV has exacerbated racial healthcare disparities in Black communities that existed long before the current outbreak. 

Is history repeating itself?  

In a separate interview, pioneering HIV activist Phill Wilson, founder of The Black AIDS Institute, says the “parallels are scary” in the context of the U.S. response to the early HIV/AIDS crisis and the slow response to the threat of MPV among Black gay and bisexual men in 2022. 

“During the early days of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, I used to quote my grandmother—probably your grandmother, too: “When white people get a cold, Black people get pneumonia,” Wilson says. 

“The parallels are scary—first, the denial, then the blaming, then the slow response and missed opportunities. And finally, the disproportionate impact on Black, other POC (people of color), and poor communities,” he adds. 

“All the earliest information about how the COVID-19 pathogen was transmitted said that Black, brown, and poor people would be disproportionately impacted. And yet, those in power did not develop strategies targeting those communities. The opposite happened.” 

A California resident, Wilson provides a first-person account of his vaccination experience in Van Nuys, a suburb of Los Angeles situated in the San Fernando Valley.  

“I showed up at the pop-up vaccination station at about 10:15 in the morning. They didn’t open until 11:00 am. There were already 100 people in line,” Wilson says. “They had 400 vaccines available that day. By the time I left at 3:00 pm, they had closed the line for the day. I counted less than five Black men, four or five Latino men, and maybe one Asian man getting vaccinated. Four hundred, presumably LGBTQ+ people, were vaccinated that day, and less than 3% were BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color).” 

To combat the inequity in the MPV vaccine rollout, the CDC has created a Vaccine Equity Pilot Program to reach populations most affected by MPV but less likely to be vaccinated. 

In the report, GLAAD also calls out the inherent homophobia that precipitated the naming of HIV as a “gay disease” in the early days of the epidemic. This stigmatizing language has also been echoed during the recent MPV outbreak because most cases are among gay and bisexual men. 

Ryan Lee, an Atlanta-based writer, was diagnosed with MPV in July and has since recovered. He says he understands why gay men are reluctant to bare the social responsibility of MPV. 

“The burden and shame that gay men have borne regarding our sexual health have created generational trauma and anxieties. And five months of monkeypox have already stoked the bigotry and judgment in those who love telling gay folks how sick and dirty we are,” Lee says. 

“So I understand the reluctance of queer folks to be closely associated with a new illness, but we must recognize monkeypox is currently a disease that disproportionately impacts gay men.”

According to reports published in August, the fear and anxiety experienced by many gay and bisexual men and the refusal of some phlebotomists to administer the MPV vaccine are reminiscent of a dark era in our nation’s history that many hoped never to repeat. 

“There is something spooky about sitting in a folding chair in 2022, surrounded by other gay men in folding chairs, waiting to be vaccinated by healthcare workers who wear personal protective equipment and immediately wipe down each vacated chair with disinfectant,” says Amanda Cary, manager for the gay men’s sexual health clinic at Whitman-Walker in D.C, in a story published in The Washington Post

“Invisible People” lays bare the outcome of slow to no inaction when three health crises converge and target an already marginalized group of people. Through this report, GLAAD continues to elevate the stories and voices of LGBTQ people living with HIV at greater risk for COVID and MPV acquisitions. 

“We have to learn from the lessons of each epidemic to be better prepared for the next,” says Andres Cantero Jr., a study participant. “People living with HIV, like all chronic conditions, should know that we can count on care that keeps us alive and helps prevent the spread of HIV.” 

“We just lost two years,” says Ellis. “We need folks to look up, wake up, and realize that we as a community and a country can walk and chew gum at the same time. We can deal with a major pandemic while not forgetting about our most marginalized folks.”

Read the complete GLAAD report  Invisible People: A Retrospective Report On The Impacts of COVID & HIV In The United States.

*******************

Photo credit: Lee Jones Photography 

Darian Aaron is the MPV project coordinator for GLAAD. He is also communications director of CNP (Counter Narrative Project), and editor-at-large of CNP’s digital publication The Reckoning.

His work can also be read across multiple platforms as a contributor for Q Digital. Follow him on Twitter @darianoutloud

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LA County Public Health expands Monkeypox vaccination eligibility

Eligible residents can go to a Public vaccinating site or visit Myturn.ca.gov to find other vaccinating sites near you

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Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has expanded eligibility to the monkeypox vaccine to closely align with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recent expansion, which includes persons in select occupational groups whose jobs may expose them to orthopoxviruses (such as monkeypox).

Monkeypox vaccine will be available to residents who self-attest to being in the following groups:

  • Gay, bisexual or other men who have sex with men or transgender people who have sex with men or other transgender people
  • Persons of any gender or sexual orientation who engage in commercial and/or transactional sex
  • Persons living with HIV, especially persons with uncontrolled or advanced HIV disease
  • Persons who had skin-to-skin or intimate contact with someone with suspected or confirmed monkeypox, including those who have not yet been confirmed by Public Health
  • (NEW) Sexual partners of people in any of the above groups
  • (NEW) People who anticipate being in any of the above groups

Monkeypox vaccine is also available for persons in select occupational groups whose may be exposed to orthopoxviruses including:

  • Research laboratory personnel working with orthopoxviruses
  • Clinical laboratory personnel performing diagnostic testing for orthopoxviruses
  • Designated public health response team members
  • Health care personnel who administer ACAM2000 (Smallpox [Vaccinia] Vaccine)
  • Designated health care workers who care for persons with suspected or confirmed orthopoxvirus infections, including clinicians and environmental services personnel

Note that the risk of monkeypox transmission remains very low for health care workers if appropriate personal protective equipment is worn and other infection control practices are followed.

Eligible residents can go to a Public vaccinating site or visit Myturn.ca.gov to find other vaccinating sites near you.

Residents do not need to show ID in order to get a vaccine at sites run by Public Health. However, because residents may need to show vaccination record and ID if you travel or visit certain venues, it is recommended that when getting a vaccine that residents provide the name that is on their ID.

Residents who met prior eligibility criteria can still get vaccinated (see below for prior criteria).

Gay or bisexual men or transgender people who:

  • Had multiple or anonymous sex partners in the past 14 days
  • Had skin-to-skin or intimate contact with persons at venues or events in the past 14 days
  • Had a history of early syphilis or gonorrhea in the past 12 months
  • Are on HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)
  • Had anonymous sex or sex with multiple partners in the past 21 days in a commercial sex venue or other venue.

Residents who have monkeypox symptoms or are currently under isolation for monkeypox, should not come to the vaccination clinics or walk-up sites. If residents think they have monkeypox, they should speak with a provider and get tested. If residents do not have a provider, residents can call the Public Health Call Center for more information on monkeypox, including general information, testing, treatment, and vaccines at (833) 540-0473 (open 7 days a week 8am – 8:30pm).

For more information, please visit: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/monkeypox/.   

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Los Angeles County Supervisors approve sick leave for monkeypox

Both coronavirus and the monkeypox outbreak has disproportionately affected essential workers, who are predominantly Black and Latino

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The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meeting room (Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles)

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a motion Tuesday, sponsored by Supervisors Hilda Solis and Sheila Kuehl, which directs County attorneys to report back to the board in three weeks on how the County could implement a paid sick leave policy for people who contract monkeypox, or other new and emerging infectious diseases.

The Board also is urging California Governor Gavin Newsom to extend the state’s coronavirus supplemental paid sick leave by signing the AB-152 COVID-19 relief leave bill.

Supervisor Solis prior to the vote pointed out that both coronavirus pandemic and the monkeypox outbreak has disproportionately affected essential workers, who are predominantly Black and Latino.

Solis further noted that without a form of paid sick leave, are in most cases, unable to take the recommended five to 10 days to isolate for COVID-19 — much less the two to four weeks needed to isolate for the duration of a monkeypox diagnosis as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the County Dept. of Public Health .

During a monkeypox townhall hosted by the Blade in East Los Angeles last week, which was also attended by Supervisor Solis, Sherrill Brown, M.D, AltaMed’s Medical Director of Infection Prevention, in her presentation noted the need for economic relief.

In her practice treating primarily Latino monkeypox cases at AltaMed clinics in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, she told the townhall attendees she was hearing some of her patients were having difficulty with the required isolation protocols because of their economic needs.

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Monkeypox

Unvaccinated 14 times more likely to contract monkeypox

Racial disparities persist in new cases of monkeypox as Black & Latino people are overrepresented in the numbers

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White House Monkeypox Response Team and Public Health Officials (Screenshot/YouTube)

WASHINGTON – U.S. health officials are celebrating preliminary data on the vaccine used in the monkeypox outbreak, which has led them to conclude eligible persons who didn’t get a shot were 14 times more likely to become infected than those who are vaccinated.

The new data, as described by health officials on the White House monkeypox task force during a call with reporters on Wednesday, comes as the overall number of new cases of monkeypox is in sharp decline, although considerable racial disparities persist in the remaining cases as Black and Latino people are overrepresented in the numbers.

Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, said during the conference call the preliminary data — collected from 32 states between July 2022 and September 2022 — provides an early shapshot of the effectiveness of the vaccine and cause for optimism on the path forward.

“These new data provide us with a level of cautious optimism that the vaccine is working as intended,” Walkensky said. “These early findings and similar results from studies and other countries suggest even one dose of the monkeypox vaccine offers at least some initial protection against infection.”

Walensky during the conference call admitted the data is incomplete in numerous ways. For example, the data is based on information on individuals who have obtained only the first shot as opposed to both shots in the two-shot vaccination process. (The data showing positive results from individuals who have only one shot contradicts previous warnings from the same U.S. health officials that one shot of the monkeypox vaccine was insufficient.)

The data also makes no distinction between individuals who have obtained a shot through subcutaneous injection, a more traditional approach to vaccine administration, as opposed to intradermal injection, which is a newer approach adopted in the U.S. guidance amid the early vaccine shortage. Skeptics of the new approach have said data is limited to support the idea the intradermal injection is effective, particularly among immunocompromised people with HIV who have been at higher risk of contracting monkeypox.

Not enumerated as part of the data were underlying numbers leading health officials to conclude the unvaccinated were 14 times more likely to contract monkeypox as opposed to those with a shot, as well as any limiting principle on the definition of eligible persons. Also unclear from the data is whether individual practices in sexual behavior had any role in the results.

Despite the positive data on the monkeypox vaccine based on one shot, U.S. health officials warned during the conference call the two-shot approach to vaccine administration is consistent with their guidance and more effective.

Demetre Daskalakis, the Biden administration’s face of LGBTQ outreach for monkeypox and deputy coordinator for the White House monkeypox task force, made the case that for individuals at risk obtaining a second dose is “really important.”

“So we see some response after the first [shot] in the laboratory, but the really high responses that we want to really get — that you know, level 10 forcefield as opposed to the level five forcefield — doesn’t happen until the second dose,” Daskalakis said. “So the important message is this just tells us to keep on trucking forward because we need that second dose at arms that people haven’t gotten the first should start their series of two vaccines.”

Also during the call, health officials said they would be expanding opportunities for vaccines as pre exposure prophylaxis, as opposed to practices in certain regions granting vaccines in their limited supply to individuals who meet certain criteria or have had risk of exposure.

The Centers of Disease Control & Prevention, officials said, is also updating its guidance to allow injection of the vaccines in places other than a patient’s arm.

Daskalakis said fear of stigma about getting a noticeable shot in the forearm after obtaining a monkeypox vaccine was a key part of the decision to issue the new guidance on implementation.

“Many jurisdictions and advocates have told us that some people declined vaccine to monkeypox because of the stigma associated with the visible but temporary mark often left on their forearm,” Daskalakis said. “New guidance from CDC allows people who don’t want to risk a visible mark on their forearm to offer a vaccine on their skin by their shoulder or their upper back. Those are areas more frequently covered by clothes.”

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Monkeypox

Supervisor Hahn to host Downey & Long Beach vax pop-ups

“This vaccine is critical to keeping people safe from the MPOX virus and I want to make it as easy as possible for people to get vaccinated”

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Supervisor Hahn's Mpox vaccine pop-up at Hamburger Mary's in Long Beach (Photo Credit: Office of Supervisor Janice Hahn)

DOWNEY, Ca – Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn will host a series of Mpox vaccine pop-up clinics outside of bars in Downey and Long Beach this coming weekend. These follow a successful Mpox vaccine pop-up that the Supervisor held outside of Hamburger Mary’s in Long Beach earlier this month, where 67 people received a dose.

“This vaccine is critical to keeping people safe from the MPOX virus and I want to make it as easy as possible for people to get vaccinated,” said Supervisor Hahn. “I am partnering with the LA County Department of Public Health, Long Beach Public Health, and the City of Downey to bring these pop-up vaccine clinics to places where people spend their free time and that are considered safe spaces by the LGBTQ+ community.”

Muevelo Fridays is an LGBTQ+ Latino dance party held once a week at The Epic Lounge in Downtown Downey. Falcon and Falcon North are well-established bars serving Long Beach’s LGBTQ+ community. The Falcon is located on East Broadway, home to several other gay bars that attract people from across the region.

“We appreciate that the Supervisor listens to community concerns, especially when it comes to public health, and we’re grateful that she’s using her resources at the county level to bring the mobile testing unit to Downey,” said Downey Councilman Mario Trujillo, who worked with Supervisor Hahn’s office to bring the pop-up to Downey on Friday. “We invite Downey residents and residents from surrounding communities to take advantage of the unit that’s being brought locally for their benefit.”

The vaccine pop-ups are carried out using a cargo van mobile unit. Supervisor Hahn purchased one of these mobile vans to bring COVID-19 vaccines to communities across her district.

On-site vaccination staff are employees of the Los Angeles County and Long Beach public health agencies.             

What:  Supervisor Janice Hahn Mpox vaccine pop-ups

Details:

Friday, September 23, 8pm to 10:30pm
Muevelo Fridays
The Epic Lounge
8239 2nd St., Downey, CA 90241
Saturday, September 24, 8pm to 12am
Falcon
1435 East Broadway, Long Beach, California 90802
Sunday, September 25, 5pm to 9pm
Falcon North
2020 East Artesia Boulevard, Long Beach, California 90805
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