Low Monkeypox Vaccine Supply Means Some Have Traveled to Canada For It
Author: Trudy Ring
Some U.S. residents are traveling to Canada in search of a vaccine for monkeypox, or MPV.
With vaccine supplies limited, a Seattle man told a local TV station he and friends traveled to the Canadian province of British Columbia to receive the vaccine and found the process “seamless.”
“King County [which includes Seattle] health was being very slow with the uptake of access to dosing and communicating in general,” Seattle gay man Justin Moore told broadcaster KING. “It became apparent to me that I was going to have to seek out other places to get it,” he added.
So he and his friends went across the border, and it took about 15 minutes for them to get vaccinated against MPV, whose most recent outbreak has been concentrated in men who have sex with men. No one at the vaccine site seemed to care that the men weren’t Canadian citizens. “It was actually very easy, very seamless,” Moore said.
Washington State has obtained about 3,550 doses of the vaccine, state officials said. That’s a very limited supply in a state with a population of 7.5 million. Because of that, Washington health administrators don’t plan to hold any large vaccine clinics, they told KING. Other locales around the U.S. have reported that demand for vaccines (there are two, with JYNNEOS being the safer one) has outpaced the supply.
The federal government announced this week that an additional 780,000 vaccine doses would be available nationwide by Friday, adding to the 300,000 already distributed in July.
Moore noted that it’s important for gay men to be aware of MPV and how to prevent it, and he spoke out against the tendency to stigmatize the community and the virus, which is spread primarily through close physical contact. The majority of cases of MPV have been among men who have sex with men, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Dr. Stephaun Wallace, a staff scientist at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle, also mentioned the need to combat stigma, and he emphasized that anyone can contract the virus.
“Please do not think that [if] you don’t identify as a gay person or the LGBTQIA community that you are not at risk for monkeypox,” Wallace told the TV station, adding, “The way that stigma has been perpetuated for monkeypox has certainly appeared to me and others that we have not learned enough.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported 5,189 confirmed cases of MPV in the U.S. as of Saturday morning. Last week, the WHO declared the MPV outbreaks a global health emergency. That designation calls for an international response to the virus’s spread.
For more information about MPV, visit the CDC’s website here.
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Original Article on The Advocate
Author: Trudy Ring