California state Sen. Scott Wiener worries that San Francisco could be heading to another public health crisis due to the spread of the monkeypox virus in the area.
On Thursday, Wiener revealed on Twitter that San Francisco is running out of monkeypox vaccines, forcing the SF General Hospital vaccine clinic to temporarily halt its operations on Friday.
As of Wednesday afternoon, more than 1,700 residents had received the vaccine jabs against monkeypox, The Hill reported citing the city’s Department of Public Health (DPH).
The walk-in clinic will shut down for the remainder of the week, but more vaccine doses are coming soon. However, Weiner pointed out that “these stops & starts” could lead to the uncontrolled spread of the virus.
Wiener blamed the federal government for the vaccine shortage. He shared a statement he had made on the issue in his tweet.
“This exhaustion of existing vaccine supply is happening exactly as San Francisco and other communities continue to see increases in monkeypox infections and exposures. More vaccine doses will be sent to San Francisco shortly, but the amount will still be quite limited,” he said.
The senator continued, “Due to a lack of vaccine supply — and what will continue to be a sluggish pace of vaccination due to limited supply going forward — we are veering toward a public health mess of uncontrolled monkeypox spread in our community and many other communities.”
Wiener also pointed out that the government’s failure to control the situation would result in “intense misery” for community members, particularly gay and bisexual men, who are at a higher risk of contracting the virus.
Based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, California has the second-highest number of confirmed monkeypox cases in the country. The Golden State has already documented 150 cases amid the outbreak, just behind New York’s 158 confirmed cases.
“We need an enormous amount of additional vaccine doses, and we need it immediately. The federal government’s failures are threatening to deeply harm our community. Once we move past this emergency, we need accountability for these failures — failures that put people’s lives and health in jeopardy,” Wiener said.
Earlier this week, former NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio urged the federal government to ramp up its access to monkeypox vaccines because the country is seeing a rapid spread of the virus.