Illustration by Michael Sitar.

Why Is It So Stupidly Hard to Get the Monkeypox Vaccine?

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We received a letter to the editor in which a disgruntled Angeleno bemoans the lackluster effort from the city, state and the nation in obtaining and distributing the monkeypox vaccine. And they’re saying what we’re all thinking.

I need to write to someone about monkeypox and getting the vaccine!

I’m gay and got scared when I first heard about the disease and how it was affecting gay men more than any other demographic, so I looked up information about getting the vaccine and signed up for it as soon as I could. The department of health then texted me a link to a list of locations offering the shot. Some of the places are walk-up, and you just have to wait in line and hope you get a dose before they run out. Other places are taking appointments only, and you have to call and register in advance.

I wasn’t able to go to any of the walk-up places, and most of them were not easy to get to by Metro. So I tried to register for an appointment. I called different locations to set up an appointment but kept getting busy signals, full voicemails or the phone would just ring and ring.

I finally gave up after three weeks of trying. I was doing the responsible thing. I was trying to keep myself and others safe and healthy. It’s annoying and sad to have to go through all of this just to get a damn shot. We supposedly live in a rich country. What’s the problem?!? People in Canada and Europe don’t have to wait in lines forever or call dozens of times over two weeks to get their shots. Why do we?

I’ll try to get the shot again, but I need a break from all the waiting and chasing. It’s frustrating, and I have a busy life. I just wish we did more to be prepared for the future.

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Los Angeleno