Covid-19 Vaccinations in Florida – January 16

I got my first dose of the vaccination on January 14, 2021. I live in Miami, Florida. The big challenge was getting an appointment. It means one has to type very fast the moment appointments open up. Every second counts. I used the portal set up by Miami-Dade County.  I knew when the appointment portal was going to be open based on my online subscription to the Miami Herald.

The appointment went very well. There were just 10 people waiting in front of the clinic when it open. I was asked if I had any allergies. I filled out the consent sheet, and soon after, a nurse gave me the Moderna vaccine. Very importantly, I was told to wait at least 15 minutes after the injection, before leaving the clinic in case there were any side effects. I felt some slight side effects including dryness in my mouth. This is standard operating procedure at all vaccination sites based on CDC guidelines.

Now, I am concerned about my second dose. I was given a card that stated I needed to take the second dose on February 11, exactly 28 days after this first dose. They said they will contact me by email and tell me at what time to return.

Although they already had my email address through the first reservation, they asked me to write it down again. This isn’t good because transcription errors (from handwriting to the computer) can result. When I I made the first appointment, the email address is typed in and  then repeated back in the confirmation notice. Most likely, the first appointment scheduling system makes some quick checks on the address validity. It appears that the scheduling system for the first and second appointments are not well linked together.

The Washington Post reported last night there was no reserved stockpiles for second doses. It looks bad. Data from the Florida Department of Health, based on the entire state are not encouraging:

So, right now 66% of all first dose people made it back to their second dose on time and 34% so far have not.   The 61,151 vacinees (those who got vaccinated)  who were on time for their final shot on Jan 12, would have been injected on December 22, 2020, with the Pfizer vaccine with a 3 week interval.  Unlikely, it was Moderna, because the EUA approval for this vaccine came on December 18.   

I believe the overdue percent is rising, because people aren’t receiving timely appointments to return to the clinics.  If the supply isn’t enough to cover both new and returning residents, who do you chose to vaccinate?  It looks right now, it’s about 9:1 on the new rather than returning, in rough numbers. so, around 50,000 to 70,00 new doses, and to the 7,000 to 9,000 second doses.   In terms of who is getting the second doses right now, it’s mostly in the age group between 16 to 64 years old (around 25% complete), rather than the 64 years old plus group (1 to 2% complete).  I think this is due to the fact that when the Pfizer vaccine first came out, it went to many medical professionals and first responders.   

Supply is the problem, and deciding who to give priority to is a very vexing question.   Our governor pitched a “Seniors First” program, and the Food and Drug Administration decided not to stockpile additional vaccines for the second doses.  There are approximately 500,000 people over 65 years of age, who in the next four weeks or less, will need their second shot, based on the latest DOH statistics.  Adding a lot of locations where one can be receive injections, doesn’t help when the supply is the limiting factor.  We need to add new refrain to the old song, “Yes, we have no bananas, we have no bananas today” which goes, “Yes, we have no bananas, and yes, we have many more fruit stands today.”

How much risk is there if they don’t get the second shot?   Without a second dose, people do not have maximum protection from the vaccine.  The second shot is added insurance that there is s sufficient immune response.    I suspect there is a tendency for people to engage in more risky activities – like travel, get social events and go out to eat once they have the first shot.  And that can worsen the spread. 

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

Vaccine reserve was exhausted when Trump administration vowed to release it, dashing hopes of expanded access

Washington Post article of January 15 – I hope non-subscribers can open it although the title pretty much summaries the article.

FL DOH  Covid-19 Vaccine Report

This link will only provide the most recent link.    Everyday, the DOH overwrites the prior report with a new one.  We will maintain copies of all reports. I will be adding a new page with all Florida reports. 

 

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