Los Angeles County received only 28,000 doses of the monkeypox vaccine, less than half of what was requested.
"We are having to scrouge anything we can, just to provide as many shots as we can," said researcher Adam Sukija-Cohen.
Sukija-Cohen, who works for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, said their Wellness on Western Center in Hollywood is one of many clinics in Los Angeles County receiving far less of the monkeypox vaccine than anticipated.
"We were told we were going to receive 100 doses," Sukija-Cohen said.
They received only 20 doses.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health requested 70,000 doses of the monkeypox vaccine but received 28,000 or about 40% of the order. The White House said it's sending 1.8 million monkeypox doses to the communities that need them most.
Despite the unexpected shortage, officials said it will still offer second doses to those who qualify and people under 18 years old who are at high risk will now qualify if their parent consents.
"You know it makes me feel hopeful that over the coming weeks as we quickly administer doses we receive," said L.A. County Health Director Barbara Ferrer. "We'll be able to get more doses."
After scrolling through her social media and seeing people exposed to the virus, Pasadena resident Anna said she wants to get the vaccine but is ineligible.
"Probably should be more accessible," she said. "You would think cause the COVID vaccines are so accessible to us."
Sukija-Cohen said officials need to expand access, especially since it is a public health emergency.
"We've understood this virus for decades and yet the rollout was just as bad as it was with COVID in the beginning," said Sukija-Cohen. "It's worth it for the county and the state of California to reach out to those representatives and say we need more vaccines."
Congressman Adam Schiff and 10 other members of Congress sent a letter to the U.S. Health and Human Services that stresses the need to address the vaccine shortfall in Southern California.
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