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Saturday monkeypox clinic at S.F. General: no line, plenty of vaccine

Saturday monkeypox clinic at S.F. General: no line, plenty of vaccine
Saturday monkeypox clinic at S.F. General: no line, plenty of vaccine 02:30

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) -- For the past few weeks, people who've wanted a monkeypox vaccine in San Francisco have often had to line up and wait.

"I hadn't even tried a week ago because all of the people who told me they had come down here said they'd waited for hours and sometimes they'd waited for hours with no luck," said San Francisco resident Gavin James.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON MONKEYPOX: California Department of Public Health | SF Department of Public Health | Santa Clara County Department of Public Health

"I know others who've tried very hard to go outside the city -- up into Marin and even into Canada -- to try and get the vaccine," said Dan Kalshan from San Francisco.

That wasn't the case on Saturday at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital.

"My friend texted me and said there'd be no line at all so I hopped in a car and got down here," James said.

This was the first time S.F. General hosted a monkeypox vaccine clinic on a Saturday.

"One of the reasons why we had the clinic today was to improve access and equity to the monkeypox vaccine," said Dr. Lukejohn Day, chief medical officer. "Most of our clinics were actually during the week so we realized some patients might not be able to take off time from work or come during the hours that we had during the week."

San Francisco received 10,000 doses of the monkeypox vaccine in the latest allocation.

"We have been averaging this week about 600 to close to 1,000 vaccinations a day," Day said. "The vaccine allocation comes about once every two weeks. Based on the numbers that we get, we try to allocate them on daily basis to make sure that we can offer it to the community. Right now, we've been able to meet the demand of the community based on our current allocation."

The vaccine is designed as a two-dose regimen however, right now, Day says they're primarily administering single doses unless a person is immuno-compromised.

"What we're doing now is for most individuals we are not providing the second dose, that's just to ensure that we have adequate supply to get first doses to all of those who are affected," he said. "So, anyone who is eligible or at risk for contracting Monkeypox, we are able to offer them a vaccination here at Zuckerberg San Francisco General based on our current supply."

The chief medical officer says monkeypox cases and hospitalizations are increasing.

"We are continuing to see increasing numbers of monkeypox here in San Francisco. I think we're considered one of the epicenters in the United States," he said. "We are seeing increasing numbers of people coming in to get evaluated, treated and we've also seen our hospitalizations around monkeypox also increase over the last couple of days so this really speaks to the need to try to get vaccinations out there to the community."

Thomas Muchnick got his shot on Saturday. He says he felt compelled to do his part to get vaccinated in order to help slow the spread of the virus.

"It's just such a contrast to what we just experienced with COVID," Muchnick said. "There already is a vaccine for this. This is an opportunity to nip this in the bud."

The clinic will not be open on Sunday.

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