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Demand for COVID-19 vaccine may be slowing in South Florida

Demand for COVID-19 vaccine in South Florida seems to have slowed down
Demand for COVID-19 vaccine in South Florida seems to have slowed down

NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. – Throughout the day on Wednesday, people filed into white tents at Miami-Dade College’s North Campus at the FEMA-funded COVID-19 vaccine site, but it’s not as busy as we have seen in the past.

In fact, across the country including here in South Florida, demand for the COVID-19 vaccine seems to be softening.

The Miami-Dade College North Campus staff has now returned to administering first doses of the Pfizer vaccine at the FEMA-funded hub since the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is on hold.

Jac Berman said he came at 4 a.m. to be first in line to get his shot. “The early bird gets the worm,” Berman said.

State health data shows that 40 percent of Miami-Dade County residents and 38 percent of Broward County residents have been vaccinated.

And it’s never been easier to get the shot. Jackson Health System is now offering a walk-up service for Pfizer doses at its vaccination sites.

On Tuesday, Broward Health marked a major milestone administering its 100,000 vaccine.

But despite expanded access and eligibility, the number of doses administered in Broward and Miami-Dade counties is going down.

Florida International University infectious diseases professor Dr. Aileen Marty said with COVID-19 variants spreading, 80 percent of the population may need to get the vaccine to achieve herd immunity.

To help make that happen, she recommends policy leaders develop outreach strategies targeting vaccine-hesitant groups.

“We have to figure out where are the pockets of hesitancy and who are the leaders in those communities so we can do a kind of ‘train the trainer,’ ” Marty said.

On Wednesday, Miami-Dade County and other organizations are expected to announce a new educational campaign aimed at getting people in vulnerable communities vaccinated.

About the Authors:

Madeleine Wright is a general assignment reporter for Local 10 News. She joined the team in March 2017.

Michelle F. Solomon is the podcast producer/reporter/host of Local 10's original, true crime podcast The Florida Files and a digital journalist for Local 10.com.