San Francisco monkeypox cases rise to 141, lines for vaccines reportedly hit 9 hours

A monkeypox vaccination clinic at San Francisco General Hospital opened to long lines Wednesday morning and turned away many people, ABC7 reported.

The San Francisco Department of Public Health requested 35,000 vaccines, but only received 3,580 in an initial shipment and another 4,163 this week, “to be used in a few days,” Mayor London Breed said in a letter she wrote to federal officials from San Francisco. health and posted on Twitter Wednesday morning.

Monkeypox cases are on the rise in San Francisco, prompting state and local leaders to ask federal health officials for more vaccines to meet growing demand from residents who want shots but are denied entry by clinics. .

The number of monkeypox cases in the city has risen to 141, up from 86 cases a few days ago. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 2,322 cases of the painful but rarely fatal viral illness, notably causing a rash. California has reported 356 cases since July 19, more than a third in San Francisco. In all, California has the second-highest number of known cases of any state, after New York, the CDC said.

Breed wrote in her letter that this “is a critical point in the spread of this virus, and we must take more urgent action.”

The public health department is allocating doses of Jynneos, the only vaccine specifically approved to prevent monkeypox, at clinics across the city, including at Kaiser Permanente (for a full list of locations and to schedule an appointment in San Francisco, visit the department’s website). The department is reserving the vaccine for gay and bisexual men, as well as sex workers and people with known exposure to monkeypox.

Anyone can get monkeypox through close physical contact with an infected person, but the current outbreak in North America and Europe is disproportionately affecting men who have sex with men. While public health officials and doctors are anxious to avoid stigmatizing the virus, there is some concern among experts that avoiding the topic may prevent valuable information from reaching people most likely to be affected. Science reporter Benjamin Ryan, for example, wrote in a Washington Post op-ed on July 18 that public health officials are doing a disservice by not conveying “the seriousness of this growing crisis to gay and bisexual men.” .

State Sen. Scott Wiener, along with 10 other lawmakers, advocated for the gay community in a letter Wednesday to Gov. Gavin Newsom.

“Gay and bisexual men, transgender people, and others at risk desperately want the vaccine to protect themselves and those around them,” Wiener wrote. “However, instead of quickly mobilizing in a mass vaccination campaign with this existing safe and effective vaccine, many of our counties lack the supply to vaccinate everyone who seeks the vaccine. In San Francisco, for example, people have been waiting in line for up to 9 hours hoping to receive a scarce vaccine.”

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