Disparities in Mpox Vaccination Among Priority Populations During the 2022 Outbreak

Open Forum Infect Dis. 2023 Aug 18;10(9):ofad434. doi: 10.1093/ofid/ofad434. eCollection 2023 Sep.


Background: The 2022 mpox outbreak disproportionately affected men who have sex with men and persons living with HIV (PLWH). A 2-dose mpox vaccine series was deployed in mid-2022. Structural racism and insurance status may have affected equitable vaccination.

Methods: We defined 3 cohorts: PLWH with at least 1 clinic visit between 1 July 2021 and 1 July 2022 (n = 2066), HIV preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) recipients as of 1 January 2022 (n = 262), and all mpox-vaccinated patients in our health system between 1 July 2022 and 30 November 2022 (n = 807). We identified patients with prior diagnosed sexually transmitted infections (STIs) as having a positive test result for gonorrhea, chlamydia, or syphilis between 1 July 2021-1 July 2022. The primary outcome was receipt of at least 1 dose of mpox vaccine.

Results: We identified 224 (10.8%) PLWH and 50 (19.0%) PrEP patients who received at least 1 dose of mpox vaccine. Among PLWH, White race (odds ratio [OR], 1.55; 95% CI, 1.11-2.16), private insurance (OR, 1.83; 95% CI, 1.01-3.34), prior STI (OR, 3.04; 95% CI, 2.16-4.27), prior COVID-19 vaccination (OR, 3.17; 95% CI, 1.93-5.20), and prior influenza vaccination (OR, 1.42; 95% CI, 1.30-1.96) independently predicted mpox vaccination. Within the PrEP cohort, prior COVID-19 vaccination and seasonal influenza vaccination predicted mpox vaccination. Uninsured patients were vaccinated later in the outbreak than patients with private insurance (median time to vaccination, 41 days in the privately insured group vs 83 days in the uninsured group; P < .0001).

Conclusions: Race, insurance status, prior STI, and previous receipt of other vaccines influenced uptake of mpox vaccine. Addressing health disparities and vaccine acceptance will be essential in improving future outbreak response.

Keywords: health care disparities; mpox; vaccination; vaccine.