On Wednesday, the Florida Department of Health changed the way that it releases data showing how many residents have received the COVID-19 vaccine.
Previously, the daily report would include figures showing how many people were overdue for their second dose. Now, that information has been removed.
Other information documented in the report includes a breakdown of the age, race, ethnicity and gender of everyone who has been inoculated as well as numbers showing the amount of shots administered per day.
Florida Department of Health interim communications director Jason Mahon said the change was done according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
“Reports previously included a number of individuals ‘overdue’ for vaccination. This number is being removed to
He cited guidance from the CDC that reads, “You should get your second shot as close to the recommended three-week or one-month interval as possible. However, there is no maximum interval between the first and second doses for either vaccine. You should not get the second dose earlier than the recommended interval.”
Mahon said based on that, residents are “eligible” rather than “overdue” for their second dose.
“The Department of Health continues to recommend that individuals receive their second dose at 28 days for the Moderna vaccine, or 21 days for the Pfizer vaccine. We are also working directly with counties and local providers to make sure individuals are being proactively scheduled to receive their second dose,” he said.
Dr. Raul Pino, of the Florida Department of Health in Orange County, said during a news conference earlier this month that there is a grace period for the second shot and it doesn’t need to be done exactly on the 21st or 28th day.
“There is no limit how far between the first and the second dosage you have to wait. You can wait more than 28 days, you can wait 30 days,” Pino said. “So what I’m trying to say to these people who are going to get very compulsive about being there on the 28th, if your appointment is beyond the 28th day it is absolutely fine.”
He noted that it is important to receive both doses since just one shot won’t offer as much immunity, which is something the governor has also reiterated.
Health officials clarified recently that residents don’t need to get their second shot at the same location where they received the first.
As of Tuesday, the last day the figures were available, 44,470 were in need of their second dose. Wednesday’s numbers show 1,233,593 people have been vaccinated in Florida, 111,188 of whom have completed the series.