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New York Governor Declares Monkeypox Outbreak A State Emergency Disaster

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has declared a state emergency due to the rapid spreading of monkeypox and authorities, race to distribute vaccines to curb the virus’ spread.

The announcement comes as New York’s monkeypox infection cases near 1,400 cases, with most infections in New York City, which has become the epicenter of the outbreak in the U.S. 

“More than one in four monkeypox cases in this country are in New York State, and we need to utilize every tool in our arsenal as we respond,” Hochul said in a statement, addressing the emergency declaration.

The World Health Organization’s director has declared monkeypox a global health emergency as well. As of Wednesday, over 20,000 cases of monkeypox had been confirmed across 77 countries.

The U.S. currently has about 4,600 reported cases, USA Today reported.

The executive order has extended the pool of eligible individuals who can administer now monkeypox vaccines, including EMS personnel, pharmacists, and midwives. The order also allows physicians and certified nurse practitioners to issue non-patient-specific standing orders for vaccines and requires providers to send out data on vaccines to the state Health Department.

On Thursday, San Francisco’s mayor also declared a state emergency after the city had 261 confirmed cases out of California’s 800 cases.

“We are in desperate need of vaccines to support the people of San Francisco,” Mayor London Breed said.

Federal health officials are still in discussion on whether to declare monkeypox a public health emergency, which would free up more resources.

After the federal government struggled to obtain enough monkeypox vaccines earlier this month, Supplies have steadily increased in recent weeks, as of Friday the distribution had reached  780,000 doses nationally. Before that, the federal government grappled with having enough vaccine doses.

About 110,000 doses went to New York, which includes 30,000 given to the outer area of New York City.

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