Statement on Monkeypox Vaccine Access for the Bronx

July 20, 2022

"I am once again obligated to call out the flagrant disparities in health care delivery for my fellow Bronxites. New Yorkers are greatly concerned about monkeypox and alarmed by the insufficient vaccine allocation from our federal partners. The only mass vaccination site in our borough offered a single day of appointments and I saw the line stretch down the block. President Biden must ensure a proportional allocation of vaccines and treatments in New York and cut any red tape possible to support our efforts, especially to direct necessary resources to hard-to-reach communities. 

Demographic statistics from our health department show that more than half of cases are residents of Manhattan and only 10% of those testing positive live in the Bronx1, but I am concerned that this represents who has accessed testing and resources rather than who is being affected. My LGBTQ+ neighbors in the Bronx deserve to feel safe and there are local community-based organizations we can depend on to lead the distribution of a limited vaccine supply to at-risk Bronxites. 

As a community member and as Chair of the Senate Health Committee, I expect that New York will focus on neighborhoods like mine with barriers to care and historic inequities through culturally competent outreach, fair distribution of resources, and empowering trusted local health care providers and community partners."

1. "2022 Health Advisory #13: Update on Monkeypox in New York City," July 18, 2022, https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloads/pdf/han/advisory/2022/monkeypo....