San Francisco expands weekend monkeypox vaccination clinics in an effort to provide equal access


SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — If you’re looking for a monkeypox vaccine, access is being expanded in San Francisco.

Zuckerberg General Hospital in San Francisco will offer its first walk-in clinic on Saturday mornings beginning at 8 a.m. and ending at 3:30 p.m. at 1001 Potrero, Building #30.

Morning after morning, people seeking the monkeypox vaccine lined up at Zuckerberg General Hospital in San Francisco.

“I think the whole gay community here in the city is trying to get the monkeypox shot and at first it was so hard to get it,” said San Francisco resident Noah Sochet.

MORE: Monkeypox: Everything you need to know about the origin, infection, vaccines and treatment

Sochet was no exception.

“I mean we just have to have it and so I’m happy to have it today and hopefully anyone who needs it can get it,” he said.

He has been trying for weeks to get in without success due to limited supply.

“It’s so frustrating, we need it and we’re hearing more and more stories of people who have contracted monkeypox and it’s horribly painful and it’s just outrageous that we haven’t received the vaccines we need,” he said.

But the hospital’s CEO, Dr Susan Ehrlich, says that’s all about to change, as they’re offering their first weekend clinic on Saturday mornings in a bid to provide equal access to vaccines.

MORE: Tracking monkeypox in the Bay Area

“Now what we want to make sure is that we’re available to everyone in our community because we want to make sure we’re as convenient and meeting people where they need to be met as possible. “Ehrlich said.

San Francisco received about 10,000 doses of monkeypox vaccine at the start of federal supply week.

This is the first week that they have enough supplies to hold a weekend clinic.

“We just get what we get when we get it and we’ve been open this week with 10,000 doses, we’ll be open tomorrow, we’ll see how we do, maybe we’ll be open again on Monday and then we wait to see what vaccine will be available to us after that,” she said.

RELATED: World Health Organization considering renaming monkeypox due to stigma issues

Earlier this week, the FDA offered new guidelines for how the vaccine could be administered to get more doses from a single vial. Ehrlich says his hospital is not doing that at this time.

“We have a lot of medical experts looking at all the data and deciding what’s the best way to manage a scarce supply of resources and right now, based on the evidence they have, that’s the best way for us to proceed,” she said.

The San Francisco Department of Public Health said Kaiser will also host a walk-in monkeypox vaccination clinic on Saturday for its patients and non-patients at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Medical Center at 2675 Geary Boulevard.

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