Monkeypox affecting Latino and Pacific Islander Utahns disproportionately

Sep 20, 2022, 2:38 PM
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 05: Residents wait in line at a DC Health location administering the monkey...
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 05: Residents wait in line at a DC Health location administering the monkeypox vaccine on August 5, 2022 in Washington, DC. The U.S. government declared the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency in order to bring awareness and resources to combat the spreading of the virus. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITYMonkeypox is impacting Latino and Pacific Islander Utahns at a disproportionate rate.

Although Latinos make up just 15% of the state’s population, they make up 34% of cases. Likewise, Pacific Islanders, who are 1% of the population, make up 4% of cases. White individuals make up 77% of Utah but are only 50% of cases.

The Utah Department of Health and Human Services reported 142 cases of monkeypox as of Monday evening: 71 among white individuals, 48 among Hispanic individuals, and six among Pacific Islander individuals. The department did not release data for races that have had fewer than five cases due to privacy concerns.

Monkeypox caseses 09/20/22“We continue to engage a variety of community partners to connect with people from different racial and ethnic groups,” department spokeswoman Charla Haley said when asked what the department is doing to target the disparities.

Haley said the department is not participating in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Monkeypox Vaccine Equity Pilot Program. The program is intended to help local, state and tribal governments reach underserved populations.

“The program only provides extra vaccine. We currently have sufficient vaccine,” Haley said. “If the program provided additional resources, such as funding to host specific outreach programs, we would apply. We reached out to CDC about this, but congressional funding has not been allocated for this action.”

The state health department reported that 3,745 individuals had received a monkeypox vaccine as of Monday afternoon. Unlike case counts, vaccinations have been more equitably spread out across race and ethnicity.

Utah’s data mirrors national monkeypox trends, with Black and Hispanic individuals accounting for 54% of cases despite representing only one-third of the general population.

“The percentage of vaccines administered to Latino or Hispanic men and non-Hispanic Black men are disproportionately lower than we are seeing represented in cases,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky told Reuters last week.

It’s not yet clear what factors are driving the disparities, but it’s a similar pattern to the COVID-19 pandemic, which hit communities of color disproportionately.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories


The thousand-year-old manuscript has been returned to its home at the Kosinitza Monastery in Drama,...
Zoe Sottile, CNN

Stolen in 1917, this 1,000-year-old manuscript was just returned to its rightful owners

A 1,000-year-old manuscript looted during World War I has been returned to the Greek monastery from where it was stolen more than a century ago.
4 months ago
A dip in suicide rates in 2019 continued into 2020, but the CDC report, released on September 30, s...
Deidre McPhillips, CNN

US suicide rates rose in 2021, reversing two years of decline

A dip in suicide rates in 2019 continued into 2020, but a CDC report released on Sept. 30 shows that 2021 reversed most of that improvement and brought rates back to near-record levels.
4 months ago
Bry Hansen visits his son's grave in South Jordan. (Tanner Siegworth/KSL TV)...
Annie Knox and Daniella Rivera, KSL TV

The number of Utah kids and teens dying by gunfire hit a record high in 2020

The state hit a devastating milestone in 2020, recording the highest-ever number of shooting deaths among Utahns 18 and younger.
4 months ago
Harmoni Memmott went through seven months of chemotherapy at Primary Children's Hospital to beat a ...
Ayanna Likens

2-year-old beats cancer after receiving care at Primary Children’s Hospital

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and one 2-year-old in Tooele battled cancer and beat it after treatment at Primary Children's Hospital.
4 months ago
Woman chooses canned olives in the grocery store. (File photo)...
Brenda Goodman

FDA proposes updates to ‘healthy’ claim on food packages

The US Food and Drug Administration is proposing changes to the nutrition standards that foods must meet before they can carry the "healthy" label on their packages.
4 months ago
Gabriela Solis prepares a dose of the Jynneos monkeypox vaccine at an L.A. County vaccination site ...
AMANDA SEITZ Associated Press

Vaccine appears to protect against monkeypox, CDC says

U.S. public health officials say at-risk people who have received just one dose of the monkeypox vaccine have appeared to be significantly less likely to get sick from the virus. Still, on Wednesday they urged a second dose for full protection. It's the first look public health officials have offered into how the Jynneos vaccine is working against the monkeypox outbreak. The virus is primarily spread among men who have sex with infected men.
4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Monkeypox affecting Latino and Pacific Islander Utahns disproportionately