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New York Governor Kathy Hochul issued an executive order Friday declaring a state disaster emergency in response to the monkeypox outbreak.
New York is the epicenter of the outbreak in the United States, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that there are currently 1,345 confirmed cases of monkeypox and orthopoxvirus in the Empire State.
“After reviewing the latest data on the monkeypox outbreak in New York State, I am declaring a State Disaster Emergency to bolster our ongoing aggressive efforts to deal with this outbreak,” wrote the leader 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 to respond. It’s especially important to recognize how this outbreak currently has a disproportionate impact on some 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,” he said. she declared.
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Hochul said on Twitter that the order will allow the state government to “respond more quickly” and help the state’s vaccination efforts.
Specifically, the order expands the pool of eligible people who can administer the vaccines, including emergency medical services personnel, pharmacists and midwives.
It also allows physicians and certified nurse practitioners to issue non-patient-specific standing prescriptions for vaccines and requires providers to send vaccine data to the New York State Department of Health.
On Thursday, the Empire State Health Commissioner declared monkeypox an “imminent threat to public health. »
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“Based on the continued spread of this virus, which has increased rapidly and primarily affected communities who identify as men who have sex with men, and the need for local jurisdictions to administer vaccines, j I have declared monkeypox an imminent threat to public health throughout New York State,” State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said in a statement. “This statement means that local health departments engaged in response and prevention activities will be able to access additional state reimbursement, once other federal and state funding sources are maximized, to protect all New -Yorkers and ultimately limit the spread of monkeypox in our communities.”
Hochul then announced that 110,000 doses of monkeypox vaccine had been secured for the state, which would be delivered over the next four to six weeks.
Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra announced Thursday that an additional 786,000 doses of the vaccine would be rolled out across the country.
“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 distribution,” he said. “These vaccines are the result of years of federal investment and planning.”
During a call, Becerra told reporters the same day that the Biden administration believes it has “done everything we can at the federal level to work with…state and local partners and affected communities to make sure we can stay one step ahead and end this outbreak.”
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.