SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – With monkeypox cases rising, San Francisco’s LGBTQ community is calling on the federal government for more vaccines.
The San Francisco AIDS Foundation, together with the city’s Department of Public Health, held a virtual town hall Tuesday night to address concerns and educate the community about monkeypox. “It’s enraging that this is the response that we’ve seen after a two-year public health crisis that shut down the nation,” said one member of the SF AIDS Foundation.
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As the supply of the monkeypox vaccine remains limited, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and city’s Department of Public Health said education is imperative. “Beginning symptoms before we see something on our body is very similar to say COVID or the flu or the common cold,” said Jorge Roman, San Francisco AIDS Foundation.
As symptoms progress, lesions start to occur. Monkeypox is most predominantly spread through sex, skin-to-skin contact and bodily fluids. The San Francisco AIDS Foundation is currently one of three locations that are offering testing and vaccinations.
They say two-to-three suspected cases are showing up daily in San Francisco with 26 suspected cases sent to a lab for confirmation. Right now, only those who were potentially exposed and asymptomatic qualify for the vaccine.
“2,888 doses. Most of these, the vast majority came last week and so far, 95% of what we have gotten has gone out to clinics but also to community organizations and this week we’ve requested an additional 35,000 doses immediately as soon as possible,” said Susan Philip, San Francisco Department of Public Health.
The AIDS Foundation will hold a vaccine clinic on Sunday to distribute 500 vaccines, however the doses are only available to the nearly 2,000 people on its current waitlist. You can head to the San Francisco AIDS Foundation website for more information about their waitlist, treatment and testing.