SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – New data from the San Francisco Department of Public Health shows that monkeypox is disproportionately circulating among the Latinx population. KRON4 spoke with the Latino Task Force, who says this is yet another health crisis hitting their community first.
According to the department of health, the latest monkeypox data reveals that 30% of infections in the city are among Latinx residents. That is a large number for a group that only makes up 15% of the city’s population.
“We know that the Latino community, any time there’s an economic or health disparity, our community are the first ones hit, so here we are again with another health disparity and another health concern,” said Ivan Corado-Vega, a manager at the Latino Task Force.
The task force is a group that was created more than two years ago to address and respond to the disparities of access to testing and vaccines during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, the task force has set up regular testing and vaccination clinics and built trust within the community.
“We’re engaging with our health partners to see what the best approach and how the infrastructure that we built during COVID can be leveraged to do direct outreach and service to the Latino community,” Corado-Vega said.
As monkeypox spreads at a higher rate among gay and bisexual Latino men, Corado-Vega says the task force is working to educate the community and use their COVID sites for monkeypox as well.
“We believe strongly that we are well-positioned to get the right information out and to get services out in a culturally competent way,” he said.
On Monday, San Francisco reported an additional 18 monkeypox cases, bringing the total case count up to 215. Despite rising cases, vaccine supply remains limited.
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On Monday, San Francisco General Hospital gave out 550 monkeypox vaccine doses. However, the clinic will be closed tomorrow due to a lack of supply. The department of health says they requested 35,000 doses, but have only received 7,800. They say they’re unsure when they’ll get their next supply.