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Inequities In Bay Area MPOX vaccines

Colorized scanning electron micrograph of monkeypox virus (green) on the surface of infected VERO E6 cells (blue). Image captured at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland.
NIAID
/
Wikimedia Commons
Colorized scanning electron micrograph of monkeypox virus (green) on the surface of infected VERO E6 cells (blue). Image captured at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland.

Over the summer, the LGBTQIA community dealt with a stigmatizing public health emergency called MPOX. UC Davis says MPOX has been around since the late 50s, and while MPOX is not a new, or specifically gay disease, it moved through the gay community quickly.

The community galvanized and got vaccinated, even in the face of a nationwide shortage of the vaccine.

But who got the shots, and when, highlights some glaring inequities in our healthcare system. Alameda County sent its first doses of the MPOX vaccine to Steamworks — a gay bathhouse in Berkeley — for distribution.

“I understood the reasoning behind putting it at a bathhouse,” said reporterCorey Antonio Rose, “My thing was there was such a lack of attention to detail as far as racial demographics.”

The day of the clinic at Steamworks, lines snaked around the block and reports began to travel abouta second line inside Steamworks which was, says Rose, “asking people to pay on the fly.”

What happens when members of our Bay Area LGBTQ community pay to skip the line? Reporter Corey Antonio Rose has that story, plus a chat with the Oakland LGBTQ Center on Out in the Bay.

Please help us keep bringing queer air to your ears. Out in the Bay is an independent non-profit production. We receive no funds from podcast platforms nor from radio stations that air Out in the Bay weekly.Your gift will help keep LGBTQ voices and stories coming to you and others who might not be able to give. (Donate tabs on our website will take you to a Media Alliance interface. Media Alliance is our non-profit 501(c)3 fiscal agent. Your gift will be earmarked for Out in the Bay.)

This episode was hosted, produced and edited byChristopher Beale.

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Christopher J. Beale is an independent radio host, producer, and journalist living in San Francisco.