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D.C. Health expands eligibility criteria for monkeypox vaccine

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The D.C. Department of Health announced on Aug. 12 that it has expanded one of its main eligibility criteria for the monkeypox vaccine from men who have sex with men who have had multiple sex partners during the previous two weeks to all people of any sexual orientation or gender who have had multiple sex partners within the past two weeks.

But in an action that DOH officials did not announce, the agency appeared to have stopped releasing the number and percentage of monkeypox cases for gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men in the week following the vaccination criteria change.

In its data release on Wednesday, Aug. 24, DOH resumed releasing data for the category of “Sexual Orientation.” However, the newly released data show a dramatic decline in the percentage of cases among gay and bisexual men along with a similarly dramatic increase in the number of cases listed as “Unknown” regarding the person’s sexual orientation.

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