The spread of monkeypox is accelerating and the scramble for vaccines is a daily occurrence.
Spread through close, prolonged and often intimate contact, the disease puts workers in the sex/adult industry at an even higher risk. Now often overlooked local workers are getting attention.
FabScout Entertainment, a major player in the adult industry in South Florida and across the country, stepped up to make sure its models and others are protected. They got a shipment of vaccines and gave them to more than 30 people.
“With the current spread of monkeypox, I wanted to help talent, crew and other colleagues by making it easy to get the vaccine,” FabScout President Howard Andrew said.
He worked with the Broward County Dept. of Health to send their staff to give the vaccines on site. Gio Caruso said it’s imperative for the adult industry to take care of its workers.
“Monkeypox is currently spreading quickly amongst our community, and it is important that we do our part in stopping the spread. We have been vigilant in doing our best to keep our talent safe.”
Andrew said they consulted Dr. Zachary Henry, AHF’s medical director at their Northpoint clinic in Fort Lauderdale, about how to help workers. Dr. Henry told SFGN that inoculating them is important because one person could become a superspreader, and that includes the behind-the-scenes crew.
“Even the people who work for the company are still in close contact, especially on the set with them.”
Monkeypox On the Move
Dr. Henry said the number of cases he sees is increasing. He spoke with SFGN six weeks ago, and had just treated one of the first cases in Broward County. He said at one point he saw six or seven in one day, and now averages about three per day. He said vaccines are gone almost as soon as they arrive, and that the federal government has ordered another 750,000 doses.
Latinos Salud knows about vaccine scarcity. “Our clients are very concerned about monkeypox,” Executive Director Dr. Stephen Fallon said. “We’ve been giving vaccines now for the past several weeks. In the first few months, though, vaccines have been in scarce supply. Our first shipment was just 20 doses. It’s been getting better. [Recently] we received 250 vaccines. But all of our appointments were booked in the first hour.”
Monkeypox is mainly seen in Africa and in heterosexuals. This is the first major outbreak in the U.S. in decades. Men who have sex with men make up the majority of this round because a man traveled from Africa to Europe and attended packed Pride events and circuit parties. Many of those were Americans who spread it once they came home.
The disease is rarely fatal. Symptoms can take up to two weeks to appear, and make people feel flu-ish and eventually turns into a rash on any part of the body, not just the parts exposed during transmission. Four hundred and eighty cases have been diagnosed in Florida, with Broward (225) and Miami-Dade (113) Counties being the epicenter. Nearly 6,000 cases have been reported nationwide.
Check here for info on vaccine availability.