The District is temporarily reducing its monkeypox vaccine regimen from two doses down to one in order to get shots in the arms of more people.
The District’s health department announced the change in a Monday news release, saying its shift in strategy was due to a combination of high demand for the JYNNEOS vaccine and shortages of the vaccine nationwide.
About 16,000 people have registered for vaccination appointments so far, according to Clover Barnes with DC Health, but the District has only received about 14,000 doses from the federal government.
Ms. Barnes spoke at a town hall event hosted by LGBT newspaper the Washington Blade on Monday night.
She said there that most of those who were scheduled to have a second appointment have been postponed in order to accommodate more first-time recipients.
People who are immuno-compromised, however, will still be allowed to receive their second dose of the vaccine.
One dose of the vaccine is effective for up to six months, which the department said will provide enough protection for people while it awaits more shipments of the vaccine.
The department said that New York City, Canada and the United Kingdom have all adopted the one-dose strategy.
Ms. Clover said that the District has the most cases per capita in the nation, with 172 reported cases of the virus since it first appeared in the area in May.
Monkeypox cases have been largely concentrated in men (96%) who are gay (82%), according to metrics provided by DC Health last week.
The median age of those infected is 32 and 60% of all reported cases are coming from White men.
Mayor Muriel Bowser confirmed during a Monday press conference that an infant visiting the District from the U.K. was one of the nation’s two pediatric cases of monkeypox. The other was reported in a toddler in California.