As of publishing, there are an estimated 197 cases of either confirmed or suspected monkeypox infections in San Francisco. Thus far, the City has received 7,700 units of the two-dose Jynneos vaccine from the federal stockpile via the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) — though some 35,000 doses have been requested to meet the need.
Today, July 23, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the current outbreak of monkeypox, which has affected 75 countries, a global health emergency amid rising case numbers. The last time anything remotely close to the current case figures of monkeypox was observed in the United States was in 2003 when 47 confirmed and probable cases of monkeypox were reported from six states.
Here in the Bay Area, cases have now passed the 200 mark across the region's six counties, with San Francisco leading the group with the majority of infections; Santa Clara and Alameda counties are both distant seconds in the ranking, only reporting a few dozen cases each.
But the much-needed, much-wanted, two-dose monkeypox vaccines from Danish-based company Jynneso are, indeed, coming to the Bay Area. There's just not being produced and shipped fast enough. It's for those reasons why the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) announced Friday that it will give first doses before expanding its vaccination program to accommodate second-dose appointments.
"SFDPH and vaccine partners will prioritize the first dose of Jynneos vaccine to as many at-risk people as possible and will defer second dose appointments until sufficient supply is received," reads a press release from the City's public health department. "Given the rapid increase of cases and very limited number of vaccines, this strategy will allow more people to receive a dose. This approach is endorsed by the CDPH and is consistent with approaches taken by New York City, the United Kingdom, and Canada. "
The decision to do so was also based on the available scientific evidence that shows incredible immune efficacy with just a single Jynneos vaccine for monkeypox — and that effectiveness can remain intact for years.
SFDPH and vaccine partners have assured the public they will notify SF-based communities when vaccine supply is available for second doses to complete the vaccine series. Even if a person receives one dose, a second dose can be administered without having to restart the series... even if the second dose is given after the minimum interval of four weeks.
For more information on monkeypox in SF, including eligibility for the vaccine, case counts, vaccine locations, and ways to avoid infection visit sf.gov/monkeypox.
Photo: A medical professional prepares a dose of the monkeypox vaccine on July 23, 2022 in London, England. The NHS is expanding its monkeypox vaccine rollout in London as monkeypox cases continue to increase in the capital. Monkeypox, a rare disease, is part of the same family of viruses as smallpox. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)