Nearly 26,000 monkeypox vaccine doses became available in New York City on Wednesday after a logistics snafu caused 1 million doses to be held up in Denmark, a Biden official told reporters at New York Gov. Kathy Hochul's Wednesday briefing on COVID-19 and monkeypox.
The city health department announced that appointments would soon be available, as New York sits as the epicenter of the spread for the United States.
"New York absolutely needs and deserves those doses," White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha said, according to Politico. "Right now, based on all the allocations we have given out, total about 65,000 doses of vaccines allocated to New York so far. That, by the way ... is enough vaccines — for the first shot — for about 50 percent of the population at risk. We're talking about people living with HIV, men who have sex with men who are eligible for PrEP. And that's progress, but not enough."
Jha added that 800,000 doses were filled and finished in Denmark, and Food and Drug Administration inspectors have given their approval. He noted that half of those doses would arrive in the next few days and the rest in the next week.
Meanwhile, Hochul shared her plans for preparing her state for what she expects will be a COVID surge in the coming months.
"The second booster is only approved for people who are 50 and over and 12 years old who have a weakened immune system," Hochul told reporters from her Manhattan office. "We are pushing the federal government to expand this. We think we're going to be in this situation soon, because we believe this should happen and New York State stands ready to get the additional boosters out the door. There's no shortage, but we're waiting for the law to catch up."
But according to evolutionary biologist Bret Weinstein, inoculating a population en masse with novel leaky vaccine technology may disrupt the "complex systems" humans use to fight off viruses.
Speaking on the UnHerd podcast in early June about the monkeypox outbreak, Weinstein said, "I'm very concerned, and I'm concerned about several things.
"I'm concerned about the meaning of the monkeypox outbreak. And the reason I'm concerned is because we really shouldn't be having an outbreak, right?
"This is a disease that's actually traditionally relatively difficult to transmit. And that doesn't mean you won't see little outbreaks happen here or there. But in general, what happens is there is sufficient immunity to prevent such an outbreak. There can be things that cause the level of immunity to drop below herd immunity, the accumulation of enough immunologically naive people in a population that an outbreak can get itself started."
Weinstein continued, adding that the attention brought toward monkeypox could just be a result of increased "surveillance" of outbreaks.
But then he asked, "Why is it circulating now, you know, around the world? Is that a matter of greater surveillance? Possibly, but probably not. Is that a matter of something having changed in our level of immunity?
"So, for example, a mass vaccination campaign could have altered people's immunity to that disease. In other words, the process that kept it under control might have been changed by the intervention in the immune system that we made; that's one possibility."
Weinstein then alluded that pushers of COVID-19 vaccines are "intervening in a series of nested complex systems. That is not a winning formula, right? One should be extremely cautious in intervening in a complex system, let alone a complex system, you know, where you have the immune system inside a population experiencing a pandemic, right? The chances that we know enough to do that well are pretty low."
Recently, Republican and New York gubernatorial candidate Rep. Lee Zeldin knocked Hochul after her office announced it would release findings on the COVID-19 pandemic after the November election.
"Why is Kathy Hochul so afraid of any more facts being released prior to the Nov. 8 election? Because Hochul was complicit in many COVID-related scandals, and she knows it," Zeldin stated.
But Hochul has distanced herself, maintaining she was not involved in the policies of her predecessor, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
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