San Francisco at risk of an ‘uncontrolled monkeypox spread,’ lawmaker says

California state Sen. Scott Wiener (D) said in a statement Thursday that the city of San Francisco is veering toward a public health crisis due to the uncontrolled spread of the monkeypox virus. 

The city’s Department of Public Health (DPH) tweeted Wednesday that its walk-in clinic will close for the remainder of the week due to the vaccine shortage. Other city clinics are working through remaining appointments and joining the DPH in “urgently asking for more doses.”  

As of Wednesday afternoon, more than 1,700 San Francisco residents had been vaccinated against the virus, according to the San Francisco DPH.

Wiener said the vaccination rate will continue to be slow, which will cause a spread in the city and surrounding communities. He said “failure to control this outbreak” will harm residents, especially the city’s LGBTQ+ community. 

“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,” Wiener added. “Once we move past this emergency, we need accountability for these failures — failures that put people’s lives and health in jeopardy.”

Wiener’s statement comes after former New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio (D) called on the federal government Monday to ramp up its access to monkeypox vaccines as cases of the virus continue to spread throughout the country. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are more than 1,000 monkeypox cases in 41 U.S. states as of Wednesday afternoon.

“Invoke the Defense Production Act to fill the need for vaccines in the US,” De Blasio, who officially announced his run to represent New York’s 10th Congressional District last month, wrote in his thread. “There really is no time to waste in a crisis like this, and there is so much that federal and city officials can do right now to get control of this crisis.”

The Biden administration recently announced plans to distribute up to 144,00 more doses of the Jynneos vaccine in an effort to combat the recent spike in cases.