Monkeypox vaccine in short supply in Philadelphia; advocates want more access

"We need vaccine. We need it now. And we need to make it as easy as possible for folks to get it," said Pa. Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta.

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Friday, July 29, 2022
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LGBTQ+ advocates and allies are pushing for more readily accessible monkeypox vaccine in Philadelphia.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- LGBTQ+ advocates and allies are pushing for more readily accessible monkeypox vaccine in Philadelphia.

"We're seeing what could look like a little pimple. People are coming in, they are tired, they have fevers, they have chills," said Medical Assistant Supervisor Steven Robertson.

Robertson is testing, vaccinating and treating monkeypox patients at the Mazzoni Health Center in South Philadelphia without having access to the vaccine himself. Thus far, the center received 100 doses of vaccine.

"We need to vaccinate as many as people as possible, as quickly as possible," said Robertson.

Robertson was joined by elected officials and LGBTQ+ advocates to push for more vaccines for the most vulnerable population.

"We need vaccine. We need it now. And we need to make it as easy as possible for folks to get it," said Pennsylvania State Representative Malcolm Kenyatta.

There have been 124 confirmed monkeypox cases in Pennsylvania, 110 cases in New Jersey and three cases so far in Delaware.

The virus can be spread through contact with an infected person; kissing, hand holding, sexual intercourse, or even coming in contact with clothing or bedding they've recently used.

Advocates at Friday's press conference wanted to emphasize monkeypox is not an exclusively sexually-transmitted disease and it's not limited to the LGBTQ+ population.

The Delaware Division of Public Health has already received 413 doses of the vaccine. Next week DPH is ordering an additional 576 doses.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy tweeted that the state would receive an additional 14,520 monkeypox vaccines.

Philadelphia has received about 2,300 vaccines thus far and is awaiting word on how many it will be allocated in the latest federal monkeypox vaccine rollout.

Cooper University Hospital in southern New Jersey is scheduling monkeypox vaccinations.

Other health centers scheduling vaccinations by appointment include:

  • Bergen New Bridge Medical Center, Annex 2 (white tent structure), 230 East Ridgewood Ave., Paramus: www.newbridgehealth.org
  • Hyacinth AIDS Foundation/Project Living Out Loud!, Jersey City: 201-706-3480
  • North Jersey Community Research Initiative (NJCRI), Newark: 973-483-3444, ext. 200
  • The Prevention Resource Network, a program of the Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey, Asbury Park: 732-502-5100

In Philadelphia, health centers currently vaccinating the most vulnerable include:

  • Mazzoni Center
  • PhiladelphiaFIGHT
  • Presbyterian Hospital
  • Drexel Partnership
  • PennMedicine