People waiting to get the COVID-19 vaccine means it will take the state longer to hit herd immunity, according to Dr. Eduardo Oliviera, with AdventHealth.
“Which can have an impact on the economy and our lives, and we all want to go back to normal,” Oliviera said.
Experts estimate to reach herd immunity, 75% of the population would have to be vaccinated or have had the virus.
So far in Florida, about 9.1 million people have had at least one dose of a vaccine which is less than 42% of the population, according to data from the Florida Department of Health.
Orange County, Central Florida’s most populous county, has about 46% of its population vaccinated.
“We’re not gonna see a herd immunity before winter. We can see it sometime next year, early next year, said Dr. Ali Mokdad, with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.
He believes neither the U.S, Florida, nor Central Florida will reach herd immunity this year if the vaccination pace continues as is.
Mokdad points to a survey where only 60-69% of Floridians said they are open to getting the vaccine. If that’s true, the state is already below the threshold.
Also, currently, there is no approved vaccine for children and teens. Until there is, Mokdad believes Florida will not hit herd immunity.
Pfizer has already applied for Emergency Use Authorization for its COVID vaccine for teens age 12-15.
The company plans to submit its vaccine for children ages 2-11 for the same approval by September.