The latest numbers from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human services show 399 cases of monkeypox have been reported in the state.
While more than 60% of those cases are in Black or African American people, that population only represents 27% of vaccinations.
NCDHHS Secretary Kody Kinsley got his monkeypox vaccine at North Carolina Central University Thursday morning to encourage others to sign up for the shot.
NC Central has received 80 doses of the monkeypox vaccine and scheduled 45 appointments.
There are a limited number of doses available statewide; at last check, Wake County had 162 people on the waitlist.
Kinsley said the state is working to help streamline the process.
“We’ve been asking the federal government for financial support to help that move faster,” Kinsley said in a press conference.
Although monkeypox is prevalent in the Black or African American population, that group is not proportionately represented in the vaccine numbers.
“This is egregiously dissonant,” NCCU Medical Director Dr. Brian Shackleford said.
Dr. Schackleford said the university will continue to fight the equity battle and reduce stigma around the virus.
The United States is once again trudging uphill to lessen the equity gap and instill trust in the marginalized community.
Kinsley said that disparity is the reason he chose to get his shot at NCCU.
“When there’s ever a health disparity, it’s important that we tackle that health disparity head on.we now see with the monkeypox virus that 68% of cases have been among black individuals, primarily of a younger age, this is why we want to focus deployment of resources here at this health center and across the state,” he said.
The vaccine can led to milder symptoms if its given within 14 days after exposure to monkeypox.
NCDHHS has a full list of populations eligible to receive the vaccine here.