How San Francisco is responding to the surge of monkeypox cases as concern grows over the White House’s ‘slow’ response to the virus

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — The White House is responding to a call for more monkeypox vaccines after cities like San Francisco continue to sound the alarm.

At present, it disproportionately hits gay and bisexual men and there are concerns that there is not enough ‘correct’ information reaching the public.

The government says 144,000 doses will be shipped nationwide on July 11. The San Francisco Health Department reports that as of July 1, San Francisco had received 580 doses and an additional 2,300 this week.

The first cases of monkeypox in the United States were confirmed in May.

Critics now say the federal cast should have arrived in mid-June before the San Francisco Pride celebrations.

In fact, the San Francisco Aids Foundation didn’t receive its first allotment of 60 doses of the vaccine until June 30 after Pride weekend, its executive director, Tyler TerMeer, revealed.

Last week, monkeypox cases jumped from 16 to 40, almost as many as in Los Angeles.

The health department says 600 people in San Francisco have already been vaccinated.

But State Sen. Scott Wiener on Friday criticized the federal government for now playing catch-up.

“We need the federal government to act much faster and more aggressively to get more vaccine doses,” Wiener warned.

In the meantime, stopping it from spreading is what the health department and organizations like the AIDS Foundation are struggling with.

Currently, only someone who has been in close contact with someone with monkeypox is eligible for the vaccine. There are currently more people exposed than expected.

“I know if you were to call any of the clinics right now, you’re either going to get a voicemail saying they have a very limited supply and keep calling back,” TerMeer added.

The AIDS Foundation told us it has a waiting list of over 500 eligible people because they have been exposed.

The vaccines will be distributed at 10 community and health care sites across San Francisco.

On Friday, a new access point was opened at San Francisco General Hospital’s monkeypox clinic on the second floor. They are open Monday to Friday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. while supplies last.

On a positive note, researchers know a lot about this virus.

“We have vaccines, we have drugs, so this is nothing like the position we were in with COVID,” explained Dr. Stanley Deresinski, an infectious disease physician at Stanford Health Care.

The medical profession wants everyone to know that testing is not available to just anyone. You must have an active rash or lesion to be tested.

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