New York lawmakers in a letter to federal officials on Wednesday urged them to sharply increase the supply of monkeypox vaccines to the state, writing the allocation is "simply not enough" given the number of cases.
The letter, released by Assemblyman Danny O'Donnell, raised fresh alarms over the spread of the virus in New York. While anyone can contract monkepox, its spread has been predominantly in LGBTQ communities in New York.
"For many in our city, and throughout this country, this outbreak feels like the beginning of AIDS," the lawmakers wrote in the letter. "A disease that can, and has, impacted all people, runs the risk of being stigmatized as an LGBTQ+ issue due to an ineffective public health response. Unfortunately, delayed government action is exacerbating the issue. It is important that our government act now to protect the people of our community."
The Biden administration last week announced it would send 1.1 million doses across the country of the vaccine. New York is set to receive 110,000.
The state Department of Health last week declared monkeypox an imminent public health threat, a move that is meant to make it easier and faster to administer vaccinations and free up resources.
Gov. Kathy Hochul at a news conference on Wednesday morning said she was working with the federal government to ensure New York receives "our fair share" of the vaccine. So far, New York has received 170,000 doses.
"We are looking at the disease burden, where it's most concentrated and we are being really smart about that," Hochul said. "So we are confronting, this outbreak with the urgency that it requires, our full-on attention and trying to protect the communities and getting the vaccines out there."