June 24, 2022
Dear Governor Hochul and Commissioner Bassett:
We are writing to urgently request that you work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to procure additional doses of the monkeypox vaccination for New York City. CDC data shows that New York State has a large percentage of cases nationally,1 and New York State Department of Health data shows that thirty of the thirty-two cases statewide are in New York City.2 Although monkeypox can infect anyone, the current outbreak appears to disproportionately affect the LGBTQI community, particularly men who have sex with men. At more than 700,000, the New York metro area has the largest population of LGBTQI people of any large metropolitan area in the nation,3 with a particular concentration in my Manhattan district. With such a substantial at-risk population, the fact that New York City has received a one-time allocation of merely 1,000 doses (being distributed over five days) is unacceptable. We are grateful that the first vaccination site for monkeypox opened in my district yesterday, but the two hundred doses available was entirely inadequate to meet the demand. Wait times were extensive, and many eligible New Yorkers were turned away. They were told to make appointments, but when they visited the appointment website4 none were available. Clearly, New York City has the greatest need in the country for monkeypox vaccines, and the State must do everything in its power to stop the spread and protect all New Yorkers. Thank you for your consideration.
Brad Hoylman, State Senator
Mark Levine, 27th District Manhattan Borough President
Erik Bottcher, Council Member