SF health dept. expands MPX vaccines to non-city residents through Oct. 2

  • by Eric Burkett, Assistant Editor
  • Friday September 16, 2022
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Leather Week begins Sunday, September 18, and health officials have expanded MPX vaccine eligibility in an effort to stem the outbreak. Photo: Gooch
Leather Week begins Sunday, September 18, and health officials have expanded MPX vaccine eligibility in an effort to stem the outbreak. Photo: Gooch

As San Francisco continues its efforts to rein in monkeypox, the city is getting help in the form of 10,000 additional Jynneos vaccines from the federal government, just in time for the beginning of the fall street fair season and associated events.

The September 25 Folsom Street Fair itself is expected to draw thousands of visitors from outside the city and, due in part to that, the San Francisco Department of Public Health is expanding vaccine eligibility to non-city residents for the first time, according to a statement. Non-city residents who meet other eligibility requirements can get a vaccine from September 18-October 2, SFDPH stated.

In addition to a pop-up from 3 to 6 p.m. near Eagle Plaza at Norfolk and Harrison streets following the LeatherWalk Sunday, September 18, there are several more opportunities that day to get a first or second dose of Jynneos. Sunday Streets Western Addition will have a vaccination pop-up from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fillmore Street; and Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center will hold a walk-in MPX vaccination clinic at 1001 Potrero Street, Building 30, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. or as long as vaccine supplies last, according to SFDPH.

SFDPH will be offering vaccination pop-ups at the aforementioned Folsom Street Fair and the Castro Street Fair October 2.

On Wednesday, September 21, pop-ups will be at Club Papi at Beaux Nightclub, 2344 Market Street, from 8 to 11 p.m.

Non-San Franciscans attending the events will be able to get vaccinated provided they meet the same criteria required of residents. They must fall within one of several categories: gay or bisexual men, or any man or trans person who has sex with men or trans people; sex workers of any sexual orientation or gender identity; people of any age or any gender who have had close contact within the past 14 days with someone with suspected or confirmed monkeypox; and people who have had close contact with others at a venue or event or within a social group in the past 14 days where a suspected or confirmed MPX case was identified.

This includes persons who received notice from a venue or event of a potential exposure within the past 14 days; laboratory workers who routinely perform MPX virus testing ; and clinicians who have had a high-risk occupational exposure (i.e., examined MPX lesions or collected monkeypox specimens without using recommended personal protective equipment), SFDPH stated.

In addition, the city is working to reach out to people of color as Black and Latinx have been hit particularly hard by the outbreak, as the Bay Area Reporter has reported.

"The San Francisco Department of Public Health  is ensuring a robust, public health response to the MPX outbreak that aligns with our goals toward health equity and supports communities most affected by the virus," read a statement from SFDPH announcing the pop-ups. "Vaccines are the best protection against MPX and one of the key strategies to lower the spread of the virus."

Besides the pop-ups detailed above, SFDPH is working to organize additional vaccination opportunities at other public sites such as bars and other public events, said Dr. Susan Philip, director of SFDPH's disease prevention and control branch.

"We are looking to also make sure we reach the populations that are most impacted," Philip said.

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