760,000 monkeypox vaccine doses head to US from Denmark; most allocated for NY

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Thursday, July 21, 2022
Hundreds of thousands of monkeypox vaccines head to NY from Denmark
New York State will receive the vast majority of 760,000 monkeypox vaccine doses headed to the US from Denmark.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New York State will receive the vast majority of 760,000 monkeypox vaccine doses headed to the U.S. from Denmark.

New York City remains the epicenter of the outbreak where there are now more than 700 confirmed cases.

So far, the state has received 65,000 doses, enough to cover about 50% of the at-risk population.

The state health commissioner says the outbreak is still containable.

"It's not aerosolized in the way that measles is or COVID is, this is spread primarily through skin to skin, face to face contact," New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett said. "We have to act, and we have to think about prevention as well as vaccination and avoiding exposure."

FDA inspectors will have to sign off the new doses before they're distributed.

As of Thursday, a total of 831 confirmed orthopoxvirus/monkeypox cases have been identified in New York.

Officials say 778 of those cases are in New York City, along with 23 in Westchester County, 10 in Suffolk County, 4 in Nassau County, 4 in Monroe County, 2 in Erie County, and 1 each in Sullivan, Chemung, Rockland, St. Lawrence, Tompkins, Albany, Orange, Greene and Dutchess counties.

The outbreak is primarily affecting men who have sex with other men, but if it's not contained quickly just about anyone could be at risk.

"It does appear to be growing quickly," said Dr. Jay Varma, formerly an adviser to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio during the COVID pandemic. "I've been very disappointed that the city, the state, and the federal government have not really released enough data for us to know exactly what the speed is. So far, the rest of the population is relatively protected, but everything we know about infectious diseases is if it gets out of control in one population, it's going to spill over into others."

If you have a new or unexpected rash or other symptoms of monkeypox, contact a health care provider.

Monkeypox is harder to contract than COVID, as it requires close contact or the sharing of bodily fluid.

The symptoms of the rare virus include fever and rash, muscle aches, and chills.

Worldwide, monkeypox is deadly in between 3% to 6% of cases, though the death rate is less than 1% in areas with quality healthcare.

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