LGBTQ advocates and health care organizations raised alarms on Thursday with public health officials' response to the monkeypox outbreak in New York amid concerns over access to vaccines and updated data. 

Health officials at the state level as well as in New York City on Thursday pledged to expand information being made available while also outlined the steps being taken to distribute the vaccine, which is limited in supply in the U.S. 

But advocates believe the last several days have been squandered by the response. 

"We are potentially facing yet another epidemic with the rapid spread of Monkeypox," said Amanda Babine, the executive director of Equality NY. "However, we are seeing very little movement and public education needed to keep people safe. Right now, we are asking for the local, state, and federal government to increase their focus on keeping us safe."

Advocacy groups, including the Pride Agenda, Housing Works and The Center, pointed to public health officials in the 1980s largely turning a blind eye to the growing HIV/AIDs epidemic at the time. 

The groups also called for more inclusive language access in the public health data reporting during the monkeypox outbreak. 

"The LGBTQ community has been historically marginalized and ignored as it pertains to the issues that impact our health," said New Pride Agenda Executive Director Elisa Crespo. "Notwithstanding, there lacks a proactive sense of urgency among our elected leaders to adequately inform and respond to the Monkeypox outbreak in New York. We demand that our leaders do everything in their power to ensure vaccines and treatment are readily available to anyone who may want to protect themselves against the virus."

Health officials on Thursday outlined steps being taken to distribute the vaccine, known as JYNNEOS, which will be available for people who have known or likley exposure in areas with the highest number of cases. 

“From the start, the Department launched a swift, coordinated response to address the monkeypox outbreak in New York,” New York Health Commissioner Mary Bassett said. “Now that we have received an initial batch of the JYNNEOS vaccine for community distribution, we will get this limited supply to those who are most at risk, while advocating for more. As we expand our public education efforts, we will continue to provide the infrastructure, guidance, and resources for local county health departments, healthcare providers, and community-based organizations statewide, so together, we can protect our communities against monkeypox and mitigate spread.”