SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Leaders in the LGBTQ+ community are pleased with a decision by the San Francisco Department of Public Health to start administering second doses of the monkeypox vaccine to those who received the first dose at least 28 days ago.
“We want people to be as protected as possible and to help control the spread of MPOX in our community. And the best way that we have to do that is by ensuring that folks have both doses dose one and two, the Jynneos vaccine,” said Tyler Termeer, SF AIDS Foundation CEO.
The San Francisco Public Health Department is also expanding who is eligible to get a first dose. Before it was those most at risk, now first doses will be available to all gay and bisexual men, and trans people in San Francisco.
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“We now have a new process where we’re doing intradermal dosing which allows us to stretch out one vial to five people for doses. That’s all allowing us to move forward with this,” said Dr. Susan Philip, San Francisco County Health Officer.
Philip said supply while steady still remains limited so scheduling may take some time and some doses will be prioritized for underserved communities who still need to get that first dose.
“First doses out of community sites that might already be doing COVID vaccine, some pop up some mobile efforts. So we really are taking similar strategies that we did with COVID to try to make sure that everyone again, no matter where they live, their work hours, all of those things, they have access to this vaccine,” said Dr. Philip.
San Francisco has seen a steady decline in daily monkeypox cases, in fact in the last week, they’ve dropped into the single digits. “It’s due to both vaccine but it also is due to people adjusting behavior making decisions for themselves and for the people around them,” said Dr. Philip.
Still those most at risk should remain on guard. “I think we’re cautiously optimistic. We know that in many public health crises in the past we’ve seen kind of a plateau or a decline in cases and then further a surge may happen,” said Termeer.
Health officials said those seeking a vaccine should check with their primary care provider first.