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Slow vaccine rollout means long timeline for a fully vaccinated Florida

Many seniors in the state are frustrated with the COVID-19 vaccination process. And, at the rate we’re going now, it could take another year and a half to vaccinate all 770,000 people in Lee County.

Some wonder, will the two-dose process slow down vaccinations even more?

There are 4,500,000 people that are 65 and older in Florida. And, according to Florida’s vaccine report, 883,000 have gotten at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, which is 18.5%.

Daniel Kern is an Assistant Professor at FGCU. “This is a nice start, but it’s not going to be enough to protect the majority of the people yet. Just from looking at the hard numbers,” he said. Kern broke the numbers down for us.

Florida has spent five weeks attempting to expand its vaccination program. When we include the health care workers with our senior population, the state of Florida has vaccinated about 1.3 million people. But, there are 23 million Floridians, so only 5% of the population has been vaccinated.

“It’s a lot longer than we were all hoping it would be and that’s just for the 65 and over. The majority of the population isn’t talked about,” Kern said.

According to Governor DeSantis, the state could vaccinate tens of thousands of people if only we had more vaccines.

The problem many seniors locally and statewide are running into is that they can’t get an appointment. For example, in Lee County, there are 260,000 seniors all with two or more devices, they were all flooding the system or call the same number at the same time.

And, each time, the system crashes.

“The math says if we continue at the same pace it’s going to take a long time,” said Kern.

Reporter:Andrea Guerrero
Writer:Drew Hill
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