SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — New data from the San Francisco Department of Public Health shows that monkeypox circulates disproportionately among the Latinx population. KRON4 spoke with the Latino Task Force, who say this is another health crisis hitting their community first.
According to the health department, the latest monkeypox data shows that 30% of infections in the city are among Latinx residents. That’s a big number for a group that makes up just 15% of the city’s population.
“We know the Latino community, anytime there’s an economic or health disparity, our community is hit first, so here we are again with another health disparity and another health issue,” said Ivan Corado-Vega, Director of the Latin Working Group.
The task force is a group that was established over two years ago to address and respond to disparities in access to testing and vaccines at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, the task force has set up regular screening and vaccination clinics and built trust within the community.
“We are engaging with our health partners to see what is the best approach and how the infrastructure we have built during COVID can be leveraged to do outreach and direct services to the Latino community,” Corado said. -Vega.
As monkeypox spreads at a higher rate among gay and bisexual Latino men, Corado-Vega says the task force is working to educate the community and use its COVID sites for monkeypox as well.
“We strongly believe that we are well positioned to disseminate the right information and provide services in a culturally competent way,” he said.
On Monday, San Francisco reported 18 more cases of monkeypox, bringing the total number of cases to 215. Despite the increase in cases, the supply of vaccines remains limited.
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On Monday, San Francisco General Hospital distributed 550 doses of monkeypox vaccine. However, the clinic will be closed tomorrow due to a lack of supply. The health department says it requested 35,000 doses but only received 7,800. They say they don’t know when they will receive their next supply.