On Tuesday, the Biden administration declared a new initiative to combat the spread of the Monkeypox virus. The White House National Monkeypox Response Team released a statement outlining the pilot program, aimed to launch greater vaccine accessibility, and provide preventative resources to an expanded number of people most susceptible to contracting the virus. As of September 1st, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report a total of 19,465 cases across the United States.
In preparation of multiple upcoming LGBTQ public events, health authorities of the current Administration are ramping up promotional outreach, and available health resources to prevent potential surges of the current Monkeypox viral infections across the United States.
“The way that you build confidence is by really making vaccine[s] accessible. Our next chapter here is not about vaccine [hesitancy], but about vaccine confidence, and making sure that we build in systems that really improve equity and make sure vaccines are getting not only in arms but in arms of people who really need it,” White House deputy monkeypox coordinator Dr. Demetre Daskalakis said in a statement.
The Biden Administration has focused its attention on gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men, and the larger LGBTQI community in their increased outreach regarding the disease. With three major upcoming events across different cities, the administration is most compelled to dispense resources to the city residents of each designated event, including Atlanta Black Pride week held in Atlanta, Georgia (September 2-4), the Southern Decadence festival held in New Orleans, Louisiana (September 1-5), and Oakland Pride and Pridefest held in Oakland (September 4-11), California.
All major cities participating in the September events will receive an increased availability of vaccine doses to protect participating residents in preparation for potentially high-risk activity during the reported events. New Orleans will receive 6,000 additional vaccination shots worth of stock, 5,500 additional shots across Atlanta, and an extra 2,400 within Oakland, as shots will be distributed across each city’s various vaccination sites, and disseminated during each festival event.
The Centers for Disease Control’s latest reportings of the virus disproportionately affecting Black and Hispanic peoples have been a supporting factor in the Administration’s additional initiative referred to as the “equity intervention pilot,” projected to bring vital resources and communication to those persons residing in communities facing significant barriers to vaccine access.
Although on-the-spot vaccinations will not provide full coverage protection to those recipients during the event dates, as protection against the disease strengthens weeks after the second inoculation dose, Federal health officials acknowledge this initiative as a chance to provide vaccination opportunities to those in need in less stigmatizing community spaces.