DC Monkeypox Vaccine: Health officials shift to single dose distribution strategy

More doses of the monkeypox vaccine are now available in the District as D.C. Health officials shift focus to distribution efforts.

FOX 5's Maureen Umeh says the priority right now is vaccinating high risk residents with at least one dose of the vaccine.

Those who are in line to get a second dose will have to wait, Umeh says, unless they have weakened immune systems caused by diseases like HIV and cancer.

Health officials say their new single dose strategy is consistent with monkeypox vaccine distribution strategies used in places like New York City, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Studies have shown that the monkeypox vaccine is effective for at least six months after the first dose.

D.C. health officials say the prioritization allowed them to invite more than 5,000 high-risk District residents to receive the first dose of the vaccine, Umeh says.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting 3,487 cases in the United States Tuesday. D.C. Health reports 172 cases in the District, which represents the highest number of cases per capita in the U.S.

The expanding monkeypox outbreak in more than 70 countries is being called a global emergency by the World Health Organization.