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New York Governor Kathy Hochul issued an executive order on Friday declaring a state emergency in response to the monkeypox outbreak.
New York is the epicenter of the outbreak in the US, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that there are currently 1,345 confirmed cases of monkeypox and orthopoxviruses in the Empire State.
“After reviewing the latest data on the monkeypox outbreak in New York State, I declare a state of emergency for state disasters to bolster our aggressive ongoing efforts to cope with this outbreak,” the leader wrote in a statement.
“More than one in four cases of monkeypox in this country are in New York State, and we must use every tool in our arsenal as we respond. It is especially important to recognize the ways in which this outbreak is currently disproportionately impacting That’s why my team and I are working around the clock to get more vaccines, expand testing capacity, and responsibly educate the public on how to stay safe during this outbreak,” she said.
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Hochul said on Twitter that the order will allow the state government to “respond more quickly” and support the state’s vaccination efforts.
In particular, the order expands the pool of eligible individuals who can give the vaccine injections, including ambulance personnel, pharmacists and midwives.
It also allows physicians and certified nurses to issue non-patient-specific standing orders for vaccines and requires suppliers to send vaccine data to the New York State Department of Health.
On Thursday, the health commissioner of the Empire State… declared Monkeypox an “immediate threat” for public health.”
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“Based on the continued spread of this virus, which has increased rapidly and primarily affects communities that identify as men having sex with men, and the need for local jurisdictions to administer vaccines, I have identified monkeypox as an immediate threat to declared public health. New York State,” said state health commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett in a statement. “This statement means that after maximizing other federal and state funding sources, local health departments engaged in response and prevention activities will have access to additional reimbursements from the state to protect all New Yorkers and ultimately limit the spread of monkeypox in our communities.” .”
Hochul then announced that 110,000 vaccine doses against monkeypox had been secured for the state, to be delivered over the next four to six weeks.
Xavier Becerra, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, announced Thursday that an additional 786,000 doses of the vaccine would be deployed nationwide.
“Our goal is to stay ahead of this virus and end this outbreak. We have a strategy to deploy these additional vaccine doses in a way that protects those at risk and limits the spread of the virus, while also working with states to ensure equitable and fair distribution,” he said. “These vaccines are the result of years of federal investment and planning.”
On an appeal the same day, Becerra told reporters that the Biden administration believes it has done “everything we can do at the federal level to work with … affected state and local partners and communities to ensure that we can stay ahead of this and put an end to this outbreak.”
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.