State officials approved more than $41 million this week for monkeypox testing and treatment after state lawmakers representing San Francisco called for its inclusion in the state budget.
Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, first called for dedicated public funding for the MPX outbreak in July, when the virus first took hold in the city.
On Tuesday, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 179, an amendment to the state budget for the fiscal year 2022-2023, including $41.5 million for the emergency response of the Status at the MPX outbreak.
“Due to the slow federal response this summer, state and local efforts have been critical in combating the MPX virus,” said Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, chairman of the Assembly’s budget committee. “This funding not only keeps resources flowing, it also strengthens them.”
As of Friday, the state had tallied 4,302 suspected and confirmed cases of the virus, the most of any U.S. state and about 20% of the 21,894 confirmed cases nationwide.
San Francisco remained one of the epicenters of the state during the outbreak, with 763 reported cases, or nearly 18% of the state’s total cases. Only Los Angeles County has more reported cases, according to data from the California Department of Public Health.
As the federal government’s allocation of MPX vaccines progressed through much of the summer, public health officials have suggested the outbreak may be beginning to wane, with nearly 140,000 vaccine doses administered in the whole state.
State officials suggested in July that California would conservatively need between 600,000 and 800,000 doses of the two-dose Jynneos vaccine against smallpox and monkeypox to vaccinate those most at risk of contracting the disease. virus. About $25.7 million of the funding will go to CDPH while the remaining $15.8 million will be distributed to local health departments and community organizations.
State public health officials plan to coordinate with local health agencies to determine the most effective way to use funding to expand testing and access to vaccines while educating people about the risks. propagation and contraction of the MPX.
“One of the lessons we’ve learned from COVID is that without a coordinated public health response, a virus can rebound,” said Assemblyman Matt Haney, D-San Francisco. “It’s going to take a lot of work to maintain the current downward trend. That’s why this funding is so essential.”
State lawmakers will determine when the legislative session resumes in January whether to allocate more funds to the MPX response.
Information about MPX and the MPX vaccine is available at https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Monkeypox-Vaccines.aspx