BUFFALO, N.Y. — On Thursday, Erie County Health Commissioner Dr Gale Burstein gave a virtual update on monkeypox in the county.
Four cases have been confirmed here recently.
Fully-booked vaccine clinics took place on Wednesday and Thursday. Erie County has administered 550 doses of the vaccine to people who may have been exposed to the virus. An additional 50 doses are being kept on hand for any close contacts who arise.
Dr. Burstein says the highest risk of spread comes from skin-to-skin contact with many cases at this point stemming from men having sex with infected men.
"We're not trying to stigmatize, we're trying to educate. And right now, where we're seeing the vast majority of infections in New York state is among those social and sexual networks that involve men who have sex with men," Burstein said.
"It is not a sexually transmitted infection, however - it is a sexually associated infection."
Erie County expects to receive more doses of the monkeypox vaccine from the state health department in the coming weeks.
Gov. Kathy Hochul released the following statement about additional vaccines coming to the state from the Biden administration:
"I am grateful to President Biden and other Administration officials for their help in securing an additional 110,000 monkeypox vaccine doses - approximately 80,000 to New York City and 30,000 to the rest of New York State - which will be delivered over the next four to six weeks and allow us to continue to respond to this troubling outbreak. This builds on the more than 60,000 monkeypox doses that New York City and New York State have received to date due to our ongoing coordination with the federal government.
"With more than one-quarter of all cases in the U.S., New Yorkers, and especially our LGBTQ+ community, remain among the hardest-hit. We will continue to advocate to the federal government for our fair share of vaccines based on the disease burden impacting New York."
"My team and I have been working around the clock to confront the monkeypox outbreak and keep New Yorkers safe, and we will continue our ongoing efforts to secure more vaccines, expand testing capacity, and educate the public on how to identify symptoms and protect themselves."