SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – The monkeypox vaccine clinic at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital reopened Monday at 8 a.m. after having been closed for almost a week due to a lack of vaccine doses.
San Francisco Department of Public Health states that the clinic gave out approximately 950 doses of the vaccine on Monday, according to a tweet from SFDPH. The clinic will reopen for walk ins Tuesday from 8am until noon or until vaccines run out.
The closure was July 26, when the hospital had to turn people away due to lacking doses. Subsequently, the city received 4,220 doses of vaccine, and city leaders declared the outbreak a local health emergency, which will help officials streamline, coordinate and implement a unified response.
The declaration will help mobilize city resources, accelerate emergency planning, and raise awareness throughout the city about how to stop the spread. Though the health emergency went into effect today, it still has to be ratified by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors for it to continue longer. District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, who represents the Castro and Noe Valley neighborhoods on the board, told KRON4 that would likely happen Aug. 8.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed said the city’s department of public health has received only one-third of the vaccines it has requested.
If the clinic doesn’t run out of jabs today, it will continue giving them out till noon.
People who live and work in San Francisco are eligible to be vaccinated if they are:
- Gay, bisexual and other men or trans people who have sex with men, who’ve had more than one sexual partner in the past two weeks,
- a sex worker,
- someone who has had close contact in the past two weeks with someone with a suspected or confirmed monkeypox infection,
- someone who has had close contact with others at a venue or event within a social group in the past two weeks where a suspected or confirmed monkeypox case was identified, including people who’ve recieved notice from a venue or an event of a potential exposure in the past two weeks,
- laboratory workers who routinely perform monkeypox virus testing, or
- clinicians who have a high risk of occupation exposure.
The hospital is at 1001 Potrero Avenue; the clinic is in building 30, which is on Potrero near 23rd Street.
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What are the symptoms of monkeypox?
Symptoms of monkeypox include onset of flu-like symptoms and distinctive rashes or sores that could look like pimples or blisters. United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics show the most commonly-reported symptoms are rash (99%), malaise (70%) and fever (64%).
While the red, flat spots which become bumps can be anywhere on the body, they are most likely in the current outbreak to affect the genital or rectal areas, or the fingers, mouth or eyes. The spots become bumps, which break and crust over into a scab. They may be itchy, but not necessarily.
Further, some people only get one or some of these symptoms; it is possible to have a fever but never a rash, or have these symptoms sequentially and not concurrently.
What is the monkeypox vaccine?
The monkeypox virus is in the orthopoxvirus family alongside smallpox, for which routine vaccination in the U.S. ended in 1972 after the disease was declared eradicated here. Jynneos, a vaccine approved for both smallpox and monkeypox, is at least 85% effective against monkeypox, though its effectiveness reduces over time.
Getting the vaccine within 14 days of exposure can prevent or mitigate disease risk, as the incubation period can be weeks.
Healthcare providers should test for other infections with similar symptoms, such as syphilis. Tests for monkeypox are confirmed at specialized labs.
Side-effects of the vaccine could include redness, pain or swelling at the injection site, muscle pain, headache, fatigue and nausea.
Who can get a monkeypox infection?
CDC and San Francisco Department of Public Health statistics show the current outbreak is primarily affecting men who have sex with men; though at least 13 U.S. cases as of July 25 have been diagnosed in people who were assigned female sex at birth. The virus is spread through close skin-on-skin contact and an adviser on sexually transmitted infections with the World Health Organization stated experts have not determined whether it is a sexually transmitted infection per se, though it is “clearly transmitted during sex.”
However, SF DPH spokesperson Noel Sanchez cautions that anyone could become infected with the monkeypox virus.
“SFDPH takes monkeypox seriously,” Sanchez stated. “While most cases resolve on their own without pills or treatment, monkeypox can be serious. We are trying to contain outbreaks and reduce transmission to avoid the virus spreading to more people and potentially becoming endemic. To that end, we are doing education and outreach to communities most at risk; tracking monkeypox cases; distributing and administering vaccines as a preventative measure to people at high risk because of an exposure; and supporting testing and clinical guidance to providers, among other efforts.”
Sanchez advises people to:
- cover exposed skin in crowds
- avoid sharing bedding and clothing
- talk with close physical and sexual contacts about health, rashes and sores
- be aware of symptoms