COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Six hundred doses of the Monkeypox vaccine have been administered within the Franklin County community, but health officials and local leaders say we need more — something they are hopeful will happen since the president declared a Public Health Emergency.
Infectious Disease Doctor for Equitas Health Dr. Matthew Bauer said this type of preventative care is needed as we see case numbers rise within our community.
“It is increasing pretty fast so we are trying to focus on trying to get these vaccines available to the public as fast as possible,” said Bauer.
Ohio doesn’t have nearly as many cases as places like New York or California, which has lowered the numbers of vaccines the CDC is allotting the state. Still, since the state’s first case in mid-June, case numbers have risen to 38 — A pace Dr. Bauer and others are trying to slow.
“We are anticipating that with the state of emergency declared yesterday that we hopefully will start receiving more vaccines here in Ohio,” said Bauer.
Despite the 600 vaccines given and more on the way, Executive Director of Stonewall Columbus, Densil Porteous said there’s still a need, especially in the high-risk community of men who have sex with men.
“I think there is definitely a need to increase the availability of vaccines in our community,” said Porteous.
While the virus is impacting the gay community at a higher rate, the virus can impact anyone which is a reason Bauer is hopeful we’re moving towards vaccinating everyone.
“I think right now the focus is giving it to some of the patients and our community members that may be at higher risk,” said Bauer. “However, I am hopefully that this will transition into more of a mass vaccination effort.”
Mass vaccination is a prevention measure Porteous is hopeful we learned to initiate quickly after dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have been able and opportunic enough to be able to see what is happening in San Francisco and New York and then Chicago and we should be able to respond in time in that regard,” said Porteous.
Bauer said he is hopeful more vaccines are on the way to the Columbus area in the near future.