Vaccine hesitancy remains strong as Florida reports 3,281 new COVID-19 cases

Health experts believe expanded eligibility will help get virus under control

Questions about side effects and how COVID-19 shots were tested are holding some back from getting a vaccine, according to a new poll that highlights the challenges in the U.S. vaccination campaign.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Questions about side effects and how COVID-19 shots were tested are holding some back from getting a vaccine, according to a new poll that highlights the challenges in the U.S. vaccination campaign.

Just 11% of people who remain unvaccinated say they definitely will get the shot, while 34% say they definitely won’t, according to the poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

[TRENDING: Boy charged with murder appears in court | Video: Man throws baby swans into cooler at Orlando park | Tiger spotted on front lawn still missing]

That vaccine hesitancy is being felt here in Central Florida.

In Orange County, the area’s most populous county, 46.98% of the 16 and older population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Department of Health.

“We do remain committed to reaching the 70% threshold of those 16 plus receiving at least one dose of the vaccine before we can safely remove masks indoors,” Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said in a news conference Monday. “It’s gonna take a while for us to get to the 70% at the current rate of vaccinations occurring within our community.”

At the same time, the Food and Drug Administration approved the emergency use of the Pfizer vaccine in children ages 12 and older.

Health leaders in Orange County called it the right move in the county’s effort to return to normalcy.

“I know there is a perception that young people don’t get [COVID-19] or that they might not get it as bad, and that may be true on the whole, but there are some young people that can get severe complications,” epidemiologist Alvina Chu said. “(It) will help us to get a handle on this pandemic and will increase the immunity within our community.”

[READ YESTERDAY’S REPORT: More walk-in vaccination options for Floridians as state reports 2,303 new COVID-19 cases]

Find the state-run COVID-19 dashboard below:

Below is a breakdown of Florida COVID-19 data reported by the state on May 11.


The Florida Department of Health reported 3,281 new cases on Tuesday, bringing the state’s overall total to 2,275,365 cases since the virus was first detected on March 1, 2020.


Florida reported 49 new virus-related deaths Tuesday, bringing the death toll to 36,547. This number included the 716 non-residents who died in Florida.


As of Tuesday afternoon, there were currently 2,746 people with the virus hospitalized in Florida, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration.

Since March 2020, 92,348 people have been hospitalized in Florida after complications from COVID-19. That number includes the 223 new patients who have been recently hospitalized due to the virus, according to the health department’s daily report released on Tuesday.

Positivity rate

The percent of positive results was 5% Monday out of 65,570 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 7,156,797 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 Tuesday, 9,350,957 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 Tuesday.

CountyCasesNew CasesHospitalizationsNew hospitalizationsDeathsNew deaths

To keep up with the latest news on the pandemic, subscribe to News 6′s coronavirus newsletter and go to

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.