Padilla Joins Local Leaders in San Francisco to Advocate for Additional Monkeypox Vaccines and Equitable Distribution
Padilla tours Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital vaccination site with local health leaders
SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Today, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) joined local and state leaders to continue to advocate for additional Monkeypox vaccines and equitable distribution throughout California. Padilla toured San Francisco’s main Monkeypox vaccine site at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital as California surpasses 3,000 Monkeypox cases statewide.
“One of the lessons we learned from the COVID pandemic was that a sustained period of limited vaccine availability early in a public health crisis is a recipe for disaster,”said Senator Padilla. “But, unlike COVID, we already have an approved vaccine ready to deploy against Monkeypox. That is why I’ve called on HHS and the CDC to ramp up their efforts to increase vaccine access, and I’ll continue working to ensure that all resources from the federal government are equitably distributed to all corners of California.”
“We are proud to stand with Senator Padilla, San Francisco leaders, our local public health peers and community organizers in our ongoing efforts to protect Californians against MPX,” said Dr. Erica Pan, California State Epidemiologist for CDPH. “The state continues to mobilize resources to fight the outbreak, utilizing tools and lessons learned during the pandemic. We remain focused on sharing prevention information and improving access to testing, treatment and vaccine and appreciate the ongoing collaboration with our statewide communities.”
“The federal government’s response to this public health emergency has been inadequate and generally disappointing,” said Supervisor Mandelman. “That is why we are so grateful to have an advocate like Senator Padilla in Washington demanding a more robust response. We urge the federal government to expand access to the Mpox vaccine so every Californian who wants a vaccine can get one, and those of us who have gotten our first dose can get a second.”
“We know that vaccines can prevent the real suffering that is occurring with people who have been diagnosed with Mpox,” said Dr. Grant Colfax, Director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health. “We have the need, we have the demand, and we have the infrastructure to deploy the vaccines in a quick and equitable manner, we just need more doses.”
“As union members, we have a role to play to collectively advocate for safety, justice, and equity. We fight for these principles for the patients we care for, but also for our communities as a whole,” said Kristin Hardy, a birth and death clerk here at San Francisco General Hospital and the San Francisco Area Representative for SEIU 1021. “We echo calls for a robust response at all levels of government to keep workers, our patients, and our families safe.”
“Equitable vaccine access is key to containing Monkeypox. We can’t make the same mistakes we did with COVID,” said State Senator Scott Wiener. “We need to step up vaccine production and distribution, and make sure that our most vulnerable populations are getting vaccines. Thank you, Senator Padilla for your allyship, and for leading on this issue.”
Senator Padilla was one of the first Senators in Congress to call on Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide additional Monkeypox vaccines in California and across the country, expressing concern over limited vaccine supplies and the federal government’s ability to keep pace with the increasing number of people seeking appointments. Most recently, Senators Padilla and Dianne Feinstein sent an additional letter to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra urging him to provide at least 600,000 additional doses of the Monkeypox vaccine to California.