New York City has seen a significant decline in its daily monkeypox case count in recent weeks, but vaccination disparities remain a cause for concern, health officials said Tuesday.
The five boroughs’ seven-day average case count fell from a peak of 72 on July 30 to 16 on Monday, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene data shows. As of Tuesday, the department was reporting a total of 2,794 monkeypox cases — up from 2,130 on Aug. 12.
“While we have 2,000, I believe, 700-odd cases, we are actually seeing a pretty steep decline in our epidemic curve,” the city’s health commissioner, Dr. Ashwin Vasan, said during a New York City Board of Health meeting Tuesday afternoon.
What You Need To Know
- New York City has seen a "pretty steep decline" in its daily monkeypox case count in recent weeks, the city's health commissioner, Dr. Ashwin Vasan, said Tuesday
- The city's seven-day average case count fell from a peak of 72 on July 30 to 16 on Monday, data shows
- As of Tuesday, the department was reporting a total of 2,794 presumed monkeypox cases — up from 2,130 on Aug. 12
Vasan attributed the drop to the city’s efforts to encourage “behavior modification by, in particular, the affected communities,” as well as its vaccination campaign.
The city has administered more than 68,000 doses of the Jynneos monkeypox vaccine since it launched its vaccination effort, according to health department data.
“They are partially vaccinated, of course,” Vasan said of New Yorkers who received their first doses. “But we think that there’s a pretty significant level of protection conferred by a single dose as a temporizing measure towards a second dose when we have more supply.”
The United States still has a limited supply of Jynneos vaccine doses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website says. New York City, for its part, has “more than double the number of any jurisdiction, in terms of the number of people vaccinated,” the commissioner noted.
Health officials, however, still have “work to do” when it comes to vaccine equity, he said.
As of Aug. 18, Manhattan had administered the most monkeypox vaccine doses — 29,559 — of any borough, surpassing the 18,057 doses administered in Brooklyn, 9,106 doses administered in Queens, 3,377 doses administered in the Bronx and the 396 doses administered on Staten Island.
More than 29,000 white New Yorkers had received monkeypox vaccines, compared to 14,769 Hispanic New Yorkers, 7,574 Black New Yorkers and 6,472 Asian or Pacific Islanders, data shows.
New Yorkers ages 25 to 34 and 35 to 44, meanwhile, represented the age groups with the highest vaccination rates.
“Clearly, the data shows that we are not where we want to be in terms of vaccinations in the Bronx, vaccinations amongst African Americans, vaccinations amongst older New Yorkers,” Vasan said. “So we have to double down on that.”