Monkeypox cases in California double in past week; calls for additional vaccines in San Francisco

The number of monkeypox cases in California and San Francisco has more than doubled over the past week. 

California had reported 111 monkeypox cases as of Tuesday, up from 40 the week before, according to the CDC

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In San Francisco alone, 24 new confirmed or suspected cases were reported Tuesday by the San Francisco Department of Public Health, bringing the total number of cases in the city to 40, health officials said. 

One of the confirmed patients attended Afterglow event, a San Francisco Pride party organized by Comfort and Joy, event organizers announced on Facebook Sunday. 

San Francisco health officials told KTVU that they do not have data that tracks to this specific event and have urged community members to avoid stigmatizing a particular group or person from monkeypox. 

Meanwhile, there are calls for more immediate action to get the monkeypox vaccine to those who need it most. Bay Area health authorities are trying to get more doses of the vaccine for monkeypox and offer them to people at risk of becoming infected. 

On Twitter, California State Assemblymember Matt Haney, who represents San Francisco, said the outbreak is happening in the city now and needs a more proactive and aggressive response. 

"Our country appears again to be woefully underprepared to respond to a virus. We desperately need the federal government to deploy and distribute more doses and to get them to organizations like [San Francisco AIDS Foundation and San Francisco Department of Public Health] so we can get them out now," Haney wrote. 

San Francisco AIDS Foundation is a community-based provider of health services for gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. In a blog post on Tuesday, they said they received 60 doses of the JYNNEOS vaccine, a two-dose treatment at 28 days apart, which can be used to prevent infection from monkeypox. 

Last week, we reported San Francisco had already received 360 vaccine doses, with another 200 expected this week. It was not clear how many SFAF was scheduled to receive as opposed to the health department and other private health care providers.  

"If we were to vaccinate every single client in our PrEP [pre-exposure prophylaxis] program, we would need more than 6,000 doses of JYNNEOS," Dr. Tyler TerMeer, CEO of SFAF, said. 

SFAF said they are currently only vaccinating "close contacts" of people who have or may have monkeypox and that in the last few weeks they have seen monkeypox cases at their clinic.