Experts predict longer wait for herd immunity as Florida reports 7,276 new COVID-19 cases

Vaccination efforts press forward despite J&J pause

(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

ORLANDO, Fla. – The pause in use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is causing some slow down in the state’s overall vaccination efforts, but local leaders are pressing forward.

All state-run mobile vaccine sites are on hold this weekend while U.S. regulators continue their review of the J&J single-dose vaccination following reports of six women developing blood clots following inoculation.

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However, Orange County leaders said Thursday that the pause is not significantly changing vaccination efforts there.

“The Johnson & Johnson vaccine that we have should not affect distribution in our county, in our provision, because we were not doing to begin with that many Johnson & Johnson,” Dr. Raul Pino from the Florida Department of Health in Orange County said.

The county reopened its online appointment portal Friday morning for vaccinations at the Orange County Convention Center. Appointments can be made at

Orange County is also getting ready to open its second mobile vaccination site at Silver Star Park Gymnasium at 2801 N. Apopka Vineland Road in Orlando. The site will be open from Monday, April 19, to Friday, April 23.

Monday through Thursday will be by appointment only. Appointments for the site can be made here. Friday will be walk-up only.

Even with the ongoing vaccination efforts, experts do not believe the U.S., Florida or Central Florida will reach herd immunity by the fall.

“No, we’re not. For sure we’re not. With the new variants we are not,” Dr. Ali Mokdad, an epidemiologist with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation said. “Simply because the numbers don’t add up, we’re not gonna see a herd immunity before Winter. We can see it sometime next year, early next year.”

On top of that, at least one vaccine manufacturer, Pfizer, recently said that people will most “likely” need another dose of the COVID-19 vaccine within a year of their full vaccination.

The pharmaceutical company, as well as Moderna, have been studying the possibility of requiring a third dose since earlier this year.

[READ YESTERDAY’S REPORT: Florida reports 6,748 new COVID-19 cases as FEMA-backed sites work to move forward with Pfizer ]

Find the state-run COVID-19 dashboard below:

Below is a breakdown of Florida COVID-19 data reported by the state on April 16.


The Florida Department of Health reported 7,276 new cases on Friday, bringing the state’s overall total to 2,155,744 cases since the virus was first detected on March 1, 2020.


Florida reported 93 new virus-related deaths Friday, bringing the death toll to 35,000. This number includes the 670 non-residents who died in Florida.


As of Friday afternoon, there were currently 3,263 people with the virus hospitalized in Florida, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration.

Since last March, 87,943 people have been hospitalized in Florida after complications from COVID-19. That number includes the 201 new patients who have been recently hospitalized due to the virus, according to the health department’s daily report released on Friday.

Positivity rate

The percent of positive results was 6.83% Thursday out of 106,502 tests. The numbers reported daily by the state reflect test results from the day prior. Health officials say the rate should remain between 5% and 10% to prove a community has a hold of the virus and is curbing infections.


The Florida Department of Health began releasing a daily report in December 2020 on COVID-19 vaccines administered throughout the state.

FDOH reports 4,910,971 people are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. These individuals either received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine or completed a two-shot series.

As of Friday, 7,823,859 people have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

Below is the Central Florida region breakdown of new cases, deaths and hospitalizations for Friday.

CountyCasesNew CasesHospitalizationsNew hospitalizationsDeathsNew deaths
Seminole32,006 1531,21604771

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About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.