WILTON MANORS, Fla. – Florida health officials said Tuesday that they will be prioritizing the first dose of the two-dose monkeypox Jynneos vaccine until they receive more from the federal government. The doses are spaced 28 days apart.
The announcement comes as U.S. health officials authorized distributing one-fifth of the full dose to turn the 440,000 doses into more than 2 million small doses with a shallow injection that penetrates only the top layer of the skin.
In Broward County, Jason Parsley was among a group of residents who received their second dose on Tuesday at the Pride Center in Wilton Manors before the rationing of the vaccine went into effect.
“I feel great! I believe in vaccines and I think it’s so important to get as many vaccines as we can to protect not only ourselves but the public at large,” Parsley said.
Florida followed San Francisco, New York, Canada, and The United Kingdom where officials also opted for prioritizing the first dose of the vaccine.
President Joe Biden’s administration declared a public health emergency last week, as areas in the U.S. where the virus is fast spreading faced an insufficient vaccine supply.
Doug Rogers received his first shot on Tuesday in Wilton Manors and left with a card hand marked with the date that he needs to return for his second dose.
“Knowing the community and knowing it’s out there, I think it’s a good idea to take the precaution,” Rogers said.
As of Tuesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported there were 9,492 confirmed monkeypox cases in the U.S. — including 976 in Florida — since May 17.
Florida has more cases than Canada, which reported 957. As of Sunday, state officials reported Broward County had 330 cases and Miami-Dade had 367. That is more cases than Ireland, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark combined.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava announced a partnership with Nomi Health to distribute the monkeypox vaccine to high-risk residents by appointment in Miami Beach and Tropical Park.
Those at high risk include laboratory personnel, those who are in close contact with monkeypox patients, and men who have sex with men and who have been diagnosed with HIV and are immunocompromised.
”We are working hard alongside all our partners to make more vaccines available in Miami-Dade,” Levine Cava said in a statement announcing the line to make appointments is 1-833-875-0900.