Samuel Garrett-Pate walked into a clinic to get a monkeypox vaccination just a few weeks ago. He waited several hours, filling in paperwork before returning to the office to fill out additional forms and waiting in line to get the vaccine at Los Angeles County Public Health Department. According to him, in all that, it took him five hours to get the shot.
Garrett-Pate is also one of the fortunate ones.
His coworker has an hourly rate, So when the doctor advised him to get this vaccine, he was required to take off for a lunch break. After waiting two hours, the line was a bit long, so he gave up and returned to work. He was required to begin the process again the following day to be vaccinated.
It’s a scenario played out at public health centers and clinics across the nation as the outbreak of monkeypox expands.
“State and local public health agencies are doing their best with the resources they have, but the federal government has not done enough and are often not acting fast enough to protect the LGBTQ community,” Garrett-Pate stated.
“This is not about pointing fingers. But at the end of the day, the buck stops somewhere.
Garrett-Pate is the executive director of external affairs at Equality California, an LGBTQ+ civil rights organization. Equality California, along with three other organizations, wrote a letter last week addressed to Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to request improved access to vaccines tests, treatment, and, generally speaking, more effective strategies to lessen the impact the monkeypox outbreak has caused to members of the LGBTQ community.
When people have access to them, costs for testing can mount up, and treatments cannot be readily available.
Access to the vaccine has been a problem since the outbreak of monkeypox hit the US about two months ago. According to the CDC estimates that around 1.5 million people qualify to receive the two-dose vaccine; however, as of Thursday, who reported that the US Department of Health and Human Services announced that 338,000 doses had been given out.
It is reported that the San Francisco Department of Public Health informed CNN that it had requested 35,000 doses of the Jynneos monkeypox vaccine to satisfy the community’s demands. At the time of writing, the department has only received around 12,000 doses -less than half the amount it requested from the federal government.
One of the leading clinics that provide the vaccine in the country was forced to close on Tuesday because it ran out of vaccines after vaccinating 600 patients.
The Georgia Department of Public Health said it had distributed 13,876 vaccines it had received. The 34,120 vaccines will be available within the next four or six weeks. There is more demand for vaccines than there are vaccines.
“As soon as we open up appointment slots, they are taken up within a very short amount of time — minutes,” the department’s director of communication, Nancy Nydam, said in an email.
As of Friday, New York City’s official website for public health declares that all appointments available for vaccinations are filled as of now.
The Federal government claims it is working on getting more vaccines available. HHS has announced that orders could start this week with the addition of 786,000 monkeypox vaccines. The agency is planning to have 1.9 million doses accessible by 2022. The agency will also make 2.2 million quantities available during the first half of 2023.
Response of public health so far
As of Friday on Friday, the United States has more than 5,000 probable or confirmed cases of monkeypox, According to CDC information.
Monkeypox can affect any person. However, it’s been found that the vast majority of this outbreak are among those who have sex with males, as well as those who are gay, bi, and transgender, as per the CDC. The agency claims that it has information specific to just about half of the cases and does not contain information on those vaccinated. The agency doesn’t have the power to gather that information yet.
Since June’s beginning, the CDC declares that it has been conducting extensive outreach and education for the LGBTQ community.
The agency has collaborated in conjunction with the umbrella organization of the local Pride committees to promote awareness. They made educational videos and worked in discussions with groups working with industries with health issues that could expose their workers to monkeypox. It also created public awareness programs on Instagram and other dating apps that are popular with the gay community, such as Scruff Adam4Adam, Scruff, and Grindr. The agency also plans to take part in discussions with LGBTQ community organizations.
On Thursday this week, the New York State Department of Health declared that monkeypox was an imminent danger to public health. San Francisco announced monkeypox, a public health emergency in the city.
The US has not yet issued an emergency declaration. It will provide more funds and personnel, aid in data collection, and cut through the bureaucracy to better combat the disease.
Reminiscences of crises in the past
Garrett-Pate and others in the LGBTQ community view the federal government’s response as a typical pattern of ignoring LGBTQ people. LGBTQ community.
Garrett-Pate compares the monkeypox epidemic to the AIDS epidemic, in which the Reagan administration did not take its time and, according to historians, expressed complete disdain for people of the LGBTQ community.
In 1989 by 1989 in 1989, the US had lost close to 90,000 people -primarily trans, gay and bi males — to AIDS; however, “the Reagan administration had all but turned its back on the AIDS epidemic, costing precious time and lives,” according to one comment from the New England Journal of Medicine.
The Biden administration is not the Reagan administration, said Garrett-Pate that monkeypox isn’t AIDS. However, he believes that when Covid-19 was discovered in the past, the government could not provide enough support to the people.
The CDC discovered that people belonging to the LGBTQ group were more susceptible to contracting Covid-19 and may be more sensitive to developing severe illnesses. However, gender and sexual orientation identity data are not always captured by the traditional Covid-19 data collection systems.
“The Biden administration has absolutely been supportive of our community.
People working for the federal government say they are working to address the issue.
Sean Cahill, director of health policy research at the Fenway Institute in Boston, an organization is working with gender and sexual minorities who have treated patients suffering from monkeypox. He said that what the Federal government is doing isn’t enough.
Cahill stated that his group has been pushing for the US to declare monkeypox as a public health emergency.
“Community members feel a tremendous feeling of urgency. These people are seeking to stay safe. They’re trying to get vaccines, and we’re begging public health authorities to take action and provide more vaccines than they have in the past.
A few state and local officials have attempted to show their support.
California state senator. Scott Wiener, a member of the San Francisco area, submitted a budget request last week, requesting an emergency budget appropriation that would help with vaccinations, testing, and education. He added that San Francisco has a robust health infrastructure and an LGBTQ community that is open to initiatives to take care of their wellbeing.
“But even here, it’s hard,” Wiener stated. “Our community gets ignored.
Wiener stated that he was disappointed by his government for its “very, very, very sluggish response by the federal government.”
Rapider action could have helped keep the spread under control
The organization was among those who signed the letter sent to CDC asking for a more thorough response.
“We’ve known about monkeypox for 50 years.
Everywhere you go in the community, he explained that people are talking about monkeypox. They’re afraid and unsure what they can do to ensure their safety without vaccines.
The federal health adviser stated that it’s expected that members of the LGBTQ community are unhappy and feel unwelcome.
However, some experts have stated that it’s time to stop doing what we did with the tools earlier.
Vasquez claimed that after more than two years of battling the epidemic, he believed the nation had discovered how to safeguard public health better.