SF expands to weekend monkeypox vaccine clinics in effort to provide equal access

ByLena Howland via KGO logo
Saturday, August 13, 2022
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SF expands to weekend monkeypox vaccine clinics in an effort to provide equal access, after receiving around 10,000 doses from the federal supply.

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

Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital will be offering its first weekend walk-in clinic on Saturday morning starting at 8 a.m. and ending at 3:30 p.m. at 1001 Potrero, Building #30.

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

"I think the whole gay community here in the city is trying to vaccinated for monkeypox and at first, it was so hard to do it," Noah Sochet, a San Francisco resident said.

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

Sochet was no exception.

"I mean we just have to have it and so I'm glad to get it today and I hope everybody who needs it can get it," he said.

He's been trying for weeks to get in with no luck because of limited supply.

"It's so frustrating, we need this and we're hearing more and more stories of folks who contracted monkeypox and it's horribly painful and it's just outrageous that we haven't been given the vaccines that 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 morning in an effort to provide equal access to the vaccines.

MORE: Bay Area Monkeypox Tracker

"Now what we want to make sure is that we're available to everybody in our community because we want to make sure that we're as convenient and meeting people were they need to be met as possible," Ehrlich said.

San Francisco received around 10,000 monkeypox vaccine doses at the beginning of the week from the federal supply.

It's the first week they've had enough supply 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, we may be open again on Monday and then we'll wait and see what vaccine is available to us after that," she said.

RELATED: World Health Organization plans to rename monkeypox over stigmatization concerns

Earlier this week, the FDA offered new guidance on how the vaccine could be administered to get more doses out of a single vial. Ehrlich says her hospital is not doing that at this time.

"We have a lot of medical experts who look at all of the data and decide what's the best way to handle a scarce supply of resource and right now, based on the evidence they have, this is the best way for us to proceed," she said.

The San Francisco Department of Public Health says Kaiser will also be holding a walk-in monkeypox vaccine clinic on Saturday for their patients and non-patients at the Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Medical Center at 2675 Geary Boulevard.

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