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Health Officials Worry Monkeypox Vaccines Aren't Reaching LA's Underserved Communities

A long line of people wait in line to receive the monkeypox vaccine
People wait in line to receive the Monkeypox vaccine in Brooklyn on July 17, 2022.
(Kena Betancur
AFP via Getty Images)
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More than 400 cases of monkeypox have been confirmed in Los Angeles County.

Dr. Jerry Abraham, the director of vaccines at Kedren Health in South L.A., said he’s concerned monkeypox vaccine and treatments will not reach enough people in low-income communities and communities of color.

“We work with hardly-reached and hard-to-reach communities and people, and with that comes … challenges for technology and having access to laptops and tablets,” he said.

Because of those challenges, said Abraham, individuals may not be able to register for the care they need around monkeypox.

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“You really see the fragmentation, the broken system,” he said. “All of that is feeding into why the people who should be getting the monkey pox vaccine and treatments are not.”

According to the California Department of Public Health, there have been 1,310 identified cases throughout the state. The majority of those cases have been among people between the ages of 25 and 44.

L.A. has seen more cases than any other California jurisdiction, followed by San Francisco, which has reported just under 400 cases.

A spokesperson for the L.A. County Department of Public Health said officials they are working with a variety of community partners to get vaccines to harder-to-reach populations.

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