San Francisco running out of monkeypox vaccine, state senator blames feds

San Francisco is running out of the monkeypox vaccine at a time when demand is surging. According to the San Francisco Department of Public Health, only 50 doses remain available on Wednesday. 

State Senator Scott Wiener announced on Twitter that the San Francisco General Hospital monkeypox vaccine clinic will close today because of the shortage. He said the federal government is to blame for the lack of medicine.

"This exhaustion of existing vaccine supply is happening exactly as San Francisco and other communities continue to see an increase in monkeypox infections and exposures," said Wiener. "More vaccine doses will be sent to San Francisco shortly, but the amount will still be quite limited."

The city's health department, which has been administering the vaccine as quickly as possible, received 2,308 doses of the vaccine last week from the federal supply. It is being distributed at 10 locations across the Bay Area.  

The health department says they have requested an additional 35,000 doses of the vaccine from the federal government, but are still waiting to hear how much of the vaccine they will receive and when it will arrive. 

"We need to be very clear where the responsibility lies for this completely avoidable situation: the federal government," said Wiener. "The United States owns one million doses that are still sitting in storage in Denmark because the FDA failed to conduct a prompt inspection of a new production facility – demonstrating a shocking lack of sense of urgency."

Officials warn people looking for the vaccine should be prepared to be turned away as all 10 vaccine sites are likely to turn out this week. Demand for the vaccine remains high, on Monday the line to receive the vaccine stretched down the block outside Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital.

SEE ALSO: Anxiety over monkeypox outbreak prompts long lines in San Francisco for vaccines

"We are veering toward a public health mess of uncontrolled monkeypox spread in our community and many other communities," said Wiener. "Failure to control this outbreak will result in intense – and completely unnecessary – misery for many people, particularly gay and bisexual men."

As of Wednesday, there are 68 probable and confirmed cases of monkeypox in San Francisco. The first probable case in the city was detected on June 3, 2022. 

Across the Bay, a pop-up vaccination clinic was held Wednesday at Steamworks, a Berkeley men's bathhouse. The clinic was the first of four pop-ups held by the City of Berkeley health department and Alameda County Public Health Department.  

300 doses of the JYNNEOS vaccine were made available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The clinic did not open until noon. By 3 p.m. people still remained in line. Some said the rules were confusing as to how the vaccine was being distributed.

Many have said they are stunned by the lack of coordination in the two-dose vaccine's rollout considering we've been through this very recently with the COVID-19 pandemic.