Shortage of Monkeypox Vaccine Sparks Protest and Fear in Bay Area

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Monkeypox vaccine. ( Getty Images)

Many Bay Area residents are scrambling and traveling long distances to get a monkeypox vaccine. Public health officials are warning of the serious shortage of vaccines needed to combat the growing outbreaks of monkeypox across the country. Since it was detected in the U.S. in May, the CDC has reported over 1,800 cases of the painful, but very rarely fatal, viral disease. About a quarter of the cases are in California, which expected to receive 15,000 doses of the vaccine this week but logistical, bureaucratic and technical errors on a federal level have slowed the distribution of nearly 7 million doses nationwide. Although anyone can get the disease, U.S. monkeypox cases have disproportionately affected men who have sex with men. LGBTQ activists protested federal offices in San Francisco this week out of concern we’re seeing a repeat of the public health failures of the early days of the HIV epidemic. We’ll discuss concerns about monkeypox and what local public health officials are doing to respond.


Anne Rimoin , professor, Center for Global and Immigrant Health, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

Susan Philip, director of Director of Population Health Division, San Francisco Department of Public Health

Tyler TerMeer, CEO, San Francisco AIDS Foundation

Fernando Gomez-Benitez , deputy director, Mission Neighborhood Health Center