March 31, 2023
US to Offer Monkey Pox Vaccines at LGBTQIA+ Pride Parades

US to Offer Monkey Pox Vaccines at LGBTQIA+ Pride Parades

U.S. health officials announced Thursday that monkeypox vaccines will be available at the LGBTQIA+ Pride Parade and other events as part of a new pilot program to prevent the rapid spread of the virus.

Cases in the US have risen to 13,500 since the outbreak began in Europe in May. Recent official data shows that 98% of cases are among men and 93% of men report recent sexual contact with other men.

Both Hispanics and blacks are disproportionately affected.

The federal government is “launching a pilot program that will provide 50,000 doses from the national stockpile for LGBTQIA+ pride parades and other events,” said Bob Fenton, the White House’s monkey flu response coordinator.

Notable upcoming events include Black Pride for the Black community in Atlanta and Southern Decadence for the LGBTQIA+ community in New Orleans on Labor Day, September 5 and the weekend before.

The reopening of universities this fall should accelerate the spread of the virus.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Rochelle Valenksi said requests could be made based on the size of the event to be considered and the ability to reach high-risk participants.