JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Cases of the monkeypox virus in Florida have more than tripled this month. However, health officials believe there is reason to be optimistic.
According to data from the Florida Department of Health, there are a little more than 1,900 confirmed cases in Florida. Doctors say most of the cases are either in Miami-Dade or Broward counties. Nationwide, the CDC says there are more than 18,000 cases. Florida has the third-highest case count behind California and New York.
To combat the virus, the federal government has created a program called “Equity Intervention Pilot.” It would offer up to 50,000 more vaccines to those who are struggling to find an appointment or worry about the stigma.
Right now, a majority of the cases have been reported in Black and Hispanic people, but they have disproportionate access to vaccines. For example, Black Americans have been given about 10% of doses. But the population made up a third of cases within the last few weeks.
The Director of the CDC, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, said there is some optimism that the virus is slowing down. She said the harm reduction message is getting out there and people are working together to bend the curve.
This weekend, the CDC will distribute vaccines at the Southern Decadence Festival in New Orleans and the Atlanta Black Pride event.