Although cases are low in San Francisco, mpox is still circulating in the United States. Being fully vaccinated against mpox will help prevent infections in the months ahead.
May 10, 2023

SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) is encouraging all those who want protection from mpox (formerly known as Monkeypox) to receive both doses of the mpox vaccine to prevent a rise in cases this summer.

Last year, SFDPH and the community came together to stop the spread of mpox, and over 50,000 doses of the vaccine have been administered in San Francisco. As the summer months and celebrations surrounding Pride approach, now is the ideal time for people to ensure they are protected.

While anyone who wants protection from mpox infection may seek a vaccine, SFDPH strongly recommends and encourages 2-dose vaccination for all people living with HIV, anyone taking or eligible to take HIV PrEP, and all men, trans people, and nonbinary people who have sex with men, trans people, or nonbinary people. These groups are likely to be among those most affected if mpox cases were to increase again in San Francisco.

Individuals can receive their second dose of the mpox vaccine if it has been at least 28 days since their first dose. It takes two doses to be fully vaccinated against mpox, and there is no need to restart the two dose series if it has been over 28 days since the first dose.

“Cases of mpox in San Francisco remain low, however, we remain watchful, as several new cases have recently been reported in other parts of the country. We want to make sure that everyone can enjoy a happy and healthy Pride,” said San Francisco Health Officer, Dr. Susan Philip. “If you received your first dose of the mpox vaccine, even if it was in the fall, it is not too late -- now is a great time to get your second dose.”

Building from last year’s successful, community-based vaccination efforts, SFDPH, in partnership with Folsom Street Events and the Leather and LGBTQ Cultural District, will be offering first and second doses of the mpox vaccine at SOMA Second Saturday events in May and June. The first event will be on Saturday, May 13.                                                                  

Mpox Vaccination Events

Event: SOMA Second Saturdays

Location: 12th Street between Folsom and Harrison Streets

Dates: Saturday, May 13 and Saturday, June 10

Time: 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm

If you receive your first dose on May 13, you will be eligible for your second dose by the Saturday, June 10 event and will receive maximum immunity before Pride. We will keep the community informed when more events are confirmed in the future. Since no vaccine is 100 percent effective, it is important for individuals to reduce their risk of potential exposures to mpox both before and after being vaccinated.

The mpox vaccine remains available across San Francisco. Health systems, community clinics such as the San Francisco AIDS Foundation’s Strut clinic, and SFPDH-affiliated sites, including our SF City Clinic, continue to offer vaccines, tests and other mpox resources. For more information about the vaccine and where to get one, please click here.

STI Prevention

In addition to the mpox vaccine, there are more steps people can take to help ensure optimal sexual health. It is important for sexually active people to get tested for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s) such as gonorrhea and syphilis, and to know their HIV status. There are also preventative drugs available such as HIV PrEP and a newer prevention tool for certain bacterial sexually transmitted diseases: doxy-PEP.

Doxy-PEP is an antibiotic that when taken after sex reduces your chance of acquiring syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia by about two-thirds. In San Francisco, doxy-PEP is recommended for cis men and trans women who have had a bacterial STI in the past year and have reported condomless anal or oral sexual contact with at least one cis male or trans female partner in the past year. SFDPH is proud to be the first in the nation to issue guidance on doxy-PEP. For information on STI testing, HIV PrEP and doxy-PEP, please visit SFDPH’s SF City Clinic website.