Shortage of Monkeypox vaccines sheds light on health care inequities, DePaul professor says

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(WBBM NEWSRADIO) — A Chicago-based health expert said the shortage of Monkeypox vaccines is shining a light on some long standing inequities in health care and disease prevention.

Dr. Craig Klugman, a DePaul University professor of bioethics and health humanities, said the worldwide fight against Monkeypox is not a fair one.

“The vaccines are now being bought up completely by Europe and North America — not leaving any available for those in Africa, where the disease has existed,” Klugman said. “And it is actually more dangerous there, the way it's presented, than it [is] in the rest of the world.”

Although Monkeypox was first diagnosed in humans in the early 1970s, Klugman said it wasn’t until Monkeypox arrived in Europe and the United States that momentum grew for a global response.

Klugman said covid fallout is partially to blame.

“We’re in year two-and-a-half of the COVID pandemic, and that has sapped a lot of our resources, both monetarily, both personnel-wise,” Klugman said, “[It’s] stretched us to the limit in our public health response and infrastructure.”

Klugman added: “And now we're throwing monkey pox on top of this, and people are exhausted. If we can't get people to wear masks, how are we going to get them to take yet another vaccine for monkeypox [when it] becomes available?”

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