SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – After the City and County of San Francisco received some 10,000 doses of the monkeypox vaccine Jynneos — more than twice the amount of previous allotments — the clinic at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital is planning to reopen today at 8 a.m.
The clinic will be open till noon through August 12, and till 3:30 p.m. August 13. It is on the second floor of Building 30.
This isn’t the only place to get a shot of Jynneos: Kaiser, UCSF and Sutter will provide doses via appointment, with Kaiser and UCSF serving both patients and non-patients.
People who live and work in San Francisco are eligible to be vaccinated if they are one of the following:
- 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 clinic reopens the day the Biden administration is expected to announce that one single dose of the Jynneos vaccine can be split into five doses to stretch supplies, according to multiple media reports. According to The New York Times, the federal government anticipates needing 3.5 million doses total to vaccinate people currently at highest risk for monkeypox infection. Currently, the government only has 1.1 million of the unsplit doses on hand.
Just yesterday, advocates protested for a second time outside the San Francisco office of the United States Department of Health and Human Services demanding the feds cut red tape to allow for more treatment access, and provide vaccines to those places most impacted by the monkeypox virus.
Select committee hearing on monkeypox set for today
State Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) will be chairing a California State Senate select committee on monkeypox today at 1:30 p.m. in downtown Sacramento.
“Monkeypox is a public health emergency, and we must do everything in our power to expand access to vaccination, testing, treatment, and information,” Wiener stated. “We need to listen to those who have contracted Monkeypox, healthcare providers, public health officials, and advocates on the ground. Working together, we can protect our community’s health.”
Wiener has been critical of the federal response to the outbreak. The select committee will hear from San Francisco Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax, Los Angeles County Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis, and San Francisco AIDS Foundation CEO Tyler TerMeer, among others.
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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. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics show the most commonly-reported symptoms are rash (99%), malaise (70%) and fever (64%).
The CDC stated August 6 that the most common places where rashes have been reported in this outbreak are genitals (46% of cases), arms (40%), face (38%) and legs (37%).
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?
According to CDC statistics released August 6, 99% of cases were in men, and 94% of cases were in men who reported having sex with men. Among those cases, the majority had reported multiple sexual partners in the prior three weeks. A total of ten U.S. cases have been reported in women, according to the CDC, and as of August 3 two pediatric cases have been confirmed. 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, Noel Sanchez of the San Francisco Department of Public Health cautioned that anyone could become infected with the monkeypox virus, and that it doesn’t necessarily require sexual contact to contract it.
“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, and be aware of symptoms.