Today, the White House National Monkeypox Response team announced new actions the Biden-Harris Administration is taking to combat the monkeypox (MPV) outbreak and protect individuals most at risk of contracting the virus. The Administration is providing additional vaccines and support to states and cities holding events that convene large groups of LGBTQI+ individuals, specifically gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. The White House also announced a new pilot to surge vaccine availability and other prevention resources to communities of color in light of recent CDC data showing the disproportionate reach of the virus among Black and Latino gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men.
Last week, the White House National Monkeypox Response team announced that as a result of recent efforts to quickly distribute vaccines, and as a result of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of intradermal administration of the JYNNEOS vaccine, the United States is approaching being able to provide two doses of vaccine to the 1.6 million individuals across the country most at risk of contracting the virus.
White House announces plans to provide additional vaccine and support to Louisiana, Georgia, and California in advance of events attracting large numbers of LGBTQI+ individuals.
The White House, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have been working closely with state and local governments and health leaders to prepare for upcoming events attracting large numbers of LGBTQI+ individuals, including Southern Decadence in New Orleans, Louisiana; Atlanta Black Pride in Atlanta, Georgia; and Pridefest in Oakland, California. As part of a pilot program announced earlier this month, the Biden-Harris Administration is making additional vaccines available to these jurisdictions and providing additional support on the ground, including increased access to testing and other prevention resources. Details on these plans include:
Southern Decadence, New Orleans, Louisiana: September 1-5, 2022
The Administration will supply Louisiana with up to 6,000 additional doses of vaccine by replenishing their stock of vaccine with the number of doses administered leading up to and during Southern Decadence events. These additional vaccines are supporting 12 community vaccination events being held at a variety of locations across New Orleans and the surrounding area leading up to Southern Decadence. In addition to these events, CDC is supporting the Louisiana and New Orleans health departments on a large-scale vaccination event on site during the festival. The site will provide COVID-19 and MPV vaccinations as well as HIV and STI testing.
The Louisiana Department of Health is also pre-positioning courses of TPOXX in New Orleans in anticipation of any treatment needs for individuals who have been diagnosed with MPV.
CDC and the Louisiana and New Orleans health departments are also working closely together to provide and distribute educational materials about MPV and how individuals can protect themselves during the festival. And, the Administration is providing both on-site and remote support to New Orleans and Louisiana in preparation of the festival, including providing remote support for Louisiana’s wastewater surveillance program.
Atlanta Black Pride, Atlanta, Georgia: September 2-4, 2022
The Administration will supply Georgia with up to 5,500 doses additional of vaccine by replenishing their stock of vaccine with the number of doses administered leading up to and during Black Pride events in Atlanta. In anticipation of Black Pride, Atlanta and the surrounding counties, including Fulton County, DeKalb County, Cobb County, and Gwinnett County, have been holding routine vaccination clinics over the last week. Starting this week and continuing through the weekend, the Georgia Department of Health in conjunction with the surrounding county health departments and community partners, will continue routine vaccination in clinics and support 12 additional vaccination events across Atlanta and the broader metro area.
The Georgia Department of Public Health and Fulton County, Dekalb County, and Gwinnett County Health Departments are working closely with a variety of local organizations, including Georgia CORE and A Vision 4 Hope, to ensure widespread dissemination of educational material and information to individuals most at risk of contracting the virus and to those planning on attending Black Pride events. Throughout the MPV outbreak, Fulton County has focused on reaching communities of color given the disproportionate impact of the virus on Black individuals.
Oakland Pride and Pridefest, Oakland, California: September 4 and 11, 2022
The Administration will also supply additional vaccine and support to Oakland and California as part of the Special Events vaccine pilot program.
Oakland, California will receive an additional 2,400 doses of vaccine to prepare for Pride and Pridefest events on September 4th and 11th by replenishing California’s stock of vaccine with the number of doses administered around Oakland Pride and Pridefest events. The Administration is also working closely with California to help disseminate educational information and messaging to individuals planning on attending Pride and Pridefest events to make sure they know how to protect themselves from the virus and access vaccines, tests, and treatment.
White House announces new equity intervention pilot to ensure more vaccines are equitably reaching communities where the outbreak has been most severe.
Today the White House also announced a new pilot program to reach populations who are at elevated risk of contracting MPV, but may face barriers in accessing the vaccine, such as lack of access to online appointment scheduling or stigma that may be associated with attending public vaccine events that may require disclosure of sexual identity, gender identity, or level of sexual activity.
As part of the equity intervention pilot, the Biden-Harris Administration will set aside 10,000 vials of vaccine that health departments can request for use as part of smaller-scale equity interventions. Up to 100 vials per jurisdiction will be made available to be used in up to 5 equity related interventions, including distribution from community-based clinics that may not have been reached by the current vaccine supply, distribution at smaller events and in venues reaching Black and Latino LGBTQI+, and distribution to communities identified locally as a priority based on local epidemiology of MPV.
The Administration will provide a toolkit that community-based organizations and jurisdictions can use to serve as a roadmap for equity intervention strategies. To receive supply for targeted equity interventions, a jurisdiction must have already used 50% of its received vaccine and commit to match the Federal government’s equity allocation if the intervention demonstrates successful.
To access these equity intervention allocations, jurisdictions can engage directly with the CDC. The toolkit will be available to jurisdictions and community-based organizations in the coming weeks.