Gov. Newsom declares monkeypox state of emergency in California

Don Thompson
The Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California's governor on Monday declared a state of emergency to speed efforts to combat the monkeypox outbreak, becoming the second state in three days to take the step.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said the declaration will help the state coordinate a government-wide response, seek more vaccines and lead outreach and education efforts on where people can get treatment and vaccines. 

"We'll continue to work with the federal government to secure more vaccines, raise awareness about reducing risk, and stand with the LGBTQ community fighting stigmatization," Newsom said in a statement announcing his declaration.

Addressing myths about monkeypox:A look at symptoms, treatment and other common questions

The move came after a similar declaration in New York state on Saturday, and in San Francisco on Thursday. But Newsom's administration had said as recently as Friday that it was too soon for such a declaration.

After pressing for Newsom to make such a declaration, Democratic state Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco hailed the governor's decision.

"The monkeypox outbreak is an emergency, and we need to use every tool we have to control it," Wiener said.

Newsom’s proclamation allows emergency medical personnel to administer monkeypox vaccines that are approved by the federal government.

That’s similar to a recent law that allows pharmacists to administer vaccines, Newsom’s administration said. It said the state’s response is building on the steps developed during the coronavirus pandemic to set up vaccination clinics and make sure there is outreach to vulnerable populations in cooperation with local and community-based organizations.