San Francisco politicians on monkeypox response: Federal government faces another ‘public health failure’

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Two San Francisco politicians have criticized the Biden administration for its response to the US monkeypox outbreak.

In a joint statement Sept. Scott Weiner and Assemblyman Matt Haney wrote that the federal government is facing yet another “public health failure”.

“Monkeypox is a growing public health problem in our community. While the virus can infect anyone, it particularly affects gay and bisexual men. ” said the couple.

“The good news is that we have an effective vaccine that prevents monkeypox,” they continued. “The bad news is that the federal government has again failed in public health, this time by not ordering enough vaccine doses to prepare for this predictable outbreak.”

Workers sit outside DC Health's first monkeypox vaccination clinic, which administers the first doses of the Jynneos vaccine distributed in the US capital, in Washington, USA, June 28, 2022.

Workers sit outside DC Health’s first monkeypox vaccination clinic, which administers the first doses of the Jynneos vaccine distributed in the US capital, in Washington, USA, June 28, 2022.
(REUTERS/Gavino Garay)

Senate Housing President and Haney, representing California’s 17th Assembly District, called for a dramatic increase in the supply of available vaccine and early distribution to the most affected communities.

While experts warn that anyone is at potential risk of infection, the majority of new cases have been in gay or bisexual men.

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Europe’s lead adviser said in May that in Europe, where cases have skyrocketed, monkeypox is likely to be transmitted through sexual intercourse at raves.

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Since then, the United Nations health agency has reported more than 6,000 cases in nearly 60 countries.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 791 cases have been confirmed. cases of monkeypox virus and orthopoxvirus in the USA

In response, the Biden administration ordered doses Jynneos Vaccine by Bavarian Nordic.

This 2003 electron microscope image provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows oval-shaped mature monkeypox virions (left) and spherical immature virions (right) obtained from a human skin sample associated with the 2003 prairie dog outbreak.  In recent days, European and American health authorities have identified monkeypox, a disease that rarely appears outside of Africa.

This 2003 electron microscope image provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows oval-shaped mature monkeypox virions (left) and spherical immature virions (right) obtained from a human skin sample associated with the 2003 prairie dog outbreak. In recent days, European and American health authorities have identified monkeypox, a disease that rarely appears outside of Africa.
(Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regner/CDC via AP)

On Thursday, he announced that he would provide states and jurisdictions with an additional 144,000 doses of monkeypox vaccine.

In early July — following the June Pride events — the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) ordered an additional 2.5 million doses.

However, slow testing and shortages of supplies prevent tracking the number of cases, and The New York Times notes number of cases of monkeypox in the US will probably be much higher.

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There is also the issue of the unconventional spread of monkeypox, where patients develop only a few cases of genital pox.

Cases of monkeypox are highest in California and New York.

Last week, New York City’s online vaccination appointment system crashed and doses were not widely distributed.

A man waits for his dose of Jynneos vaccine as the city launches its first monkeypox vaccination campaign in Washington, USA, June 28, 2022.

A man waits for his dose of Jynneos vaccine as the city launches its first monkeypox vaccination campaign in Washington, USA, June 28, 2022.
(REUTERS/Gavino Garay)

In the Bay Area and across the Golden State, the number of cases has also increased, but community and LGBTQIA+ leaders have said the lack of a vaccine is exacerbating the situation.

AIDS Foundation of San Francisco he only received 60 doses of Jynneos, according to SFGate.

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“The federal government needs to dramatically increase the supply of the vaccine and distribute it to affected communities as quickly as possible,” urged Weiner and Haney.

“We don’t have free time. It is completely unacceptable that the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and other public clinics receive so few doses,” they added. “We need enough vaccines so that everyone at risk has access.”