If you do an internet search today on "Racial disparities monkeypox vaccine" you will learn that African-Americans and Hispanics (aka, People-of-Color) are over-represented in terms of the per-capita rate of MPX cases...over-represented by about a factor of two. They are also under-represented in terms of the number of people who received MPX vaccine...under-represented by 50% on a per-capita basis and 75% on a per-case basis.
My understanding is that MPX patient are asked to produce a list of people who have been exposed and efforts are made to find those people and offer them vaccine.
In a similar way, if somebody learns that they were involved in a, ahem, "sporting event" where they might have been exposed then can present themselves to a clinic and they will be offered vaccine.
As a visual, public-health officials are attempting to construct a rings of immune patients around patients diagnosed with MPX.
Possible reasons for the disparity include:
- P-o-C are actively denied vaccine even though they claim exposure.
- P-o-C who are identified by MPX cases are not contacted by healthcare providers.
- P-o-C who engage in "sporting events" are unaware of the epidemic.
- P-o-C do not know where to go to declare exposure and get vaccinated.
- P-o-C do not have transportation to clinics with vaccine.
- P-o-C might be vaccine-hesitant in general and not be fully trusting of Authorities.
- The true names of P-o-C who engage in "sporting events" are not always shared with other contestants at the "sporting events".
- P-o-C might be more hesitant to come out of the closet with regard to their participation in "sporting events".
- Non-P-o-C MPX cases might be hesitant to identify P-o-C that they attend "sporting events" with and thus might not identify them to healthcare providers.
Many STDs are characterized by skin lesions that make it easier for pathogens to enter the body
- There might be non-"sporting event" modes of transmission that are higher for P-o-C than for non-P-o-C and the CDC is blind to those modes. For example: it might be that other STDs make patients more vulnerable to virus transmission and that the P-o-C (who might have higher rates of STDs) can catch MPX at a tailgate party and not even have to enter the stadium of the "sporting event". Obviously, this hypothesis might make some people angry.
Clearly, MPX is getting away from efforts to contain it. The CDC and State Health teams better sharpen up their game.
They are missing something.