White House to Pilot Mobile Monkeypox Testing at Southern Decadence Festival

Photo by Jim Hobbes | License

The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will provide an additional 6,000 doses of monkeypox vaccine up to and during Southern Decadence in New Orleans. In addition to 12 community vaccination events leading up to the festival, there will be a large-scale vaccination event and testing on-site.

In addition to offering vaccination and education for monkeypox during the festival, the CDC will work with the Louisiana and New Orleans health departments to provide COVID-19 vaccinations, as well as HIV and STI testing. Southern Decadence can attract up to 300,000 individuals from all over the country, and according to Gov. John Bel Edwards, this year’s – the first since 2019 – is expected to draw tens of thousands.

“There’s no doubt that we will learn lessons over the weekend that we can then share with other folks around the country and help them to do an even better job of preparing for similar events,” Edwards said.

Although these vaccinations won’t provide protection for festival goers during the festival, they are a vital part of the White House’s new equity-focused approach towards vaccine distribution, and “meeting people where they are.”

At Southern Decadence, the federal government will be piloting a mobile testing center, and the state will offer courses of TPOXX – a treatment for monkeypox – in case anyone who has been diagnosed with monkeypox needs treatment.

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