The racial gap in monkeypox vaccine access

While early CDC data suggests U.S. monkeypox cases are high among Black and Hispanic people, vaccination rates among the groups are lagging, with at least 54 percent of doses going to white people nationwide, Bloomberg reported Aug. 11.

Black people made up 26 percent of cases with known race and ethnicity information and Hispanic people made up 32 percent of all cases as of July 28, according to the CDC. 

The scope of national monkeypox vaccine disparities is incomplete because the CDC relies on state and local health departments for demographic data on uptake. Bloomberg reached out to 10 large cities for vaccination information, but only received data from Washington, D.C. – where 63.5 percent of monkeypox vaccine recipients identify as white. Fifty-five percent of Chicago vaccine doses went to white patients, and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said 67 percent of doses have gone to white people as well. 

"Why are we in this situation once again? The magnitude is not as overwhelming as COVID, but public health is all about prevention," Stephen Thomas, PhD, the director of the Center for Health Equity at University of Maryland's School of Public Health, told Bloomberg.

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