Los Angeles

Pre-registered individuals receive monkeypox vaccine at WeHo pop-up location but supply still scarce

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif (KABC) — L.A. County began administering the monkeypox vaccine this week.

Just a small portion of the 48,000 monkeypox vaccine doses promised to Los Angeles County was doled out to eligible recipients on Wednesday, which was the first day officials launched a pop-up clinic in West Hollywood.

This came as a relief after weeks of frustration and anguish for those who’ve been trying to get the Jynneos vaccine dose. At the West Hollywood Library, 200 people who pre-registered for vaccination appointments got their shot.

MORE | 7 ways to reduce your risk of monkeypox

Vaccine recipient Tonatiuh said he’s grateful he can get protection at a convenient location.

“It’s important that we take all the precautions possible,” he said.

West Hollywood Councilmember John Erickson said opening up sites where vaccine-eligible populations live and work is key to getting the scarce supply to the people who need it.

“I had to travel over an hour to get a vaccine. But right now, that’s why I’ve been using my voice to make sure that we’re doing all that we can to protect community members,” Erickson said.

Dr. Andrea Kim, the director of Vaccine Preventable Disease Control, said L.A. County has just received the first allotment of the 48,000 vaccines promised from state and federal governments.

“(We have) 19,000 doses, and we are now quickly dispersing that so it can get into people’s arms as soon as possible,” she said.

MORE | Everything you need to know about monkeypox infection, vaccines, more

The doses have been distributed among the pop-up site, four Los Angeles County Public Health vaccination clinics and more than 30 community sexual health clinics. But this current supply is expected to run out in the next two weeks.

At the time of publishing, the Los Angeles County Public Health’s website states that the pre-registration link for the monkeypox vaccine has reached capacity and is currently paused. For more information, visit their website.

The virus has been primarily spread among men who have sex with other men. Those eligible for the vaccine include people in close contact with someone infected and those who’ve had multiple sexual partners in the last two weeks. While the virus is spread through close contact, monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted disease.

“Having that skin-to-skin contact most commonly with the rash, so anyone can have that,” Kim said.

Jynneos is a two-shot vaccine, but the goal for now is to concentrate on first doses which experts say can elicit a robust immune response that could last two years.

Tonatiuh hopes more vaccines will arrive soon to slow down the spread.

“Preemptive action when it comes to something like this is super important and necessary,” he said.

The rest of the 48,000 doses is expected to arrive in L.A. County in the next six weeks. Discussions are underway to have pop-up clinics in Silverlake, Hollywood and Echo Park.

MORE | Monkeypox LA updates – What to know about vaccine availability, cases

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