The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation — the largest educational arm for the LGBTQ+ communities in the nation — released a reported titled (In)Equity in the US Mpox Response: Trends and Disparities in National Data.
This report, which analyzed data for the mpox vaccine and treatment between May 2022 to the end of January 2023, showed that Black and African American people have increasingly and disproportionately represented larger shares of new cases. Despite this, they have also received the fewest percentage of vaccinations.
Black people accounted for one third of all new mpox cases weekly at the height of the epidemic, but only made up a tenth of those fully vaccinated against it. Conversely, Hispanic/Latinx people made up only a fifth of all people who received at least one vaccination, despite accounting for over a quarter of new cases each week.
As of February 1, a total of 730,555 people have received at least one dose of the mpox vaccine. 46.5 percent of those people were white, despite only making up a third of new cases each week. Additionally, of the 449,113 people who have completed the vaccine regimen with a second dose, 50.4 percent were white.
“This data details what we’ve known to be true for generations: Effective care for the most marginalized in our community is continually too little, too late,” said Kelly Robinson, President of the HRC, in a statement. “It’s imperative that our public health institutions continue to learn from past missteps and ensure timely, equitable access to care, leaving no one behind.”
Cases for mpox have drastically fallen since the peak in 2022, largely thanks to the response from the LGBTQ+ communities. The HRC also released a report surveying more than 3,000 people in the LGBTQ+ communities, discovering that 1 in 5 respondents didn’t even know they were eligible for a vaccine.
The HRC continues to work with community based organizations and the CDC and White House to provide necessary information and get people fully vaccinated.