Monkeypox vaccine: Hundreds line up as Zuckerberg SF General clinic reopens for drop-ins

ByRyan Curry via KGO logo
Wednesday, July 20, 2022
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A monkeypox vaccine clinic reopened on Wednesday at Zuckerberg SF General Hospital and very quickly after opening, people were getting turned away.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A monkeypox vaccine clinic reopened on Wednesday at Zuckerberg SF General Hospital and very quickly after opening, people were getting turned away.

LIST: See open SF monkeypox vaccine sites here

This clinic opened at 8 a.m. but people ABC7 News spoke with said they arrived around 6 a.m. and there were already hundreds of people in line.

Shortly after 8 a.m., they started turning people away.

The hundreds who arrived were hoping to get a monkeypox vaccine that recently arrived in San Francisco. "Feels good to get ahead," said resident Aaron Perlstein.

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

It was a big relief for many who waited in line for hours, hoping to get one of the not-many-available doses.

The SF Department of Health Services says they received over 4,000 doses of the vaccine but they stopped accepting drop-ins not long after they opened.

Ben Ellsworth says he arrived two hours before the clinic opened and already hundreds were in line. It was his third attempt at getting a vaccine.

VIDEO: Man recovering from monkeypox describes symptoms, experience; doctor answers questions

"Last week I showed up with a bunch of friends and we were turned away because there was a supply issue," he says. "Came back again and same thing. I showed up at 6 a.m. today and there was already almost 200 people in line."

San Francisco has 141 probable or confirmed cases of monkeypox.

Eligibility for the vaccine has expanded but the supply is not close to meeting the demand.

Many are demanding more action to make the vaccine available.

"Luckily a lot of my friends have been able to receive a vaccine, but I have a lot friends who haven't because they have been frustrated with the process of just trying to secure a vaccine," Ellsworth says.

One thing to note is that those who had appointments were not being turned away. They were allowed to get a vaccine dose.

There are a number of places where you can get a vaccine by appointment, including Kaiser Permanente, which is now accepting appointments for non-Kaiser patients.

Earlier, Mayor London Breed sent a note to the U.S. Secretary for Health and Human Services asking for help.

Similar efforts are being done in the South Bay, where Santa Clara County hopes to have a vaccine clinic open soon. They're already added a few hundred doses of the vaccine but they're hoping to have those clinics give out hundreds more.

"With this new effort this week, we're hoping to get out a lot more vaccines for people who may not have come into contact with someone they knew had monkey," said Santa Clara County Health Department's Dr. George Han.

San Franciscans eligible for a Jynneosvaccine are:

  • Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men and trans people who have sex with men and have had multiple (more than one) sexual partners in past 14 days
  • Sex workers of any sexual orientation/gender
  • Identified as a close contact of someone who has monkeypox (suspected or confirmed)
  • Received a notification from a venue or event of a potential exposure to someone who has monkeypox (suspected or confirmed)
  • A laboratory worker who routinely handles monkeypox virus samples for diagnosis or testing purposes or any clinician who has a high-risk occupational exposure

Get more information about the monkeypox vaccine and details about open vaccination sites from San Francisco health officials here.

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