South Florida has now administered 1.25M vaccine doses as COVID-19 cases continue to fall
Image via AP.

vaccine COVID-19 coronavirus
All three major counties are at or close to pandemic lows in case spread.

South Florida’s tri-county area has hit another benchmark in vaccine distribution, surpassing 1.25 million doses administered, according to the latest weekly report from the Florida Department of Health.

Miami-Dade County has put nearly 672,000 shots in arms since vaccines became available. That number is nearly 357,000 in Broward County and around 225,000 in Palm Beach County.

The number of doses administered rose 12% week-to-week in Palm Beach County and 2% in Miami-Dade. Broward’s number fell 4% week-to-week.

That vaccine push, according to state data, has seen 94% of Miami-Dade’s population get at least one shot. Broward County has administered at least one shot to 83% of its eligible population and Palm Beach sits at a 75% vaccination rate.

However, local officials have cast doubt on whether such a substantial share of the region has been vaccinated. Vaccine rates in certain South Florida ZIP codes have surpassed 100%, likely due to so-called “vaccine tourists” who pop into the region for a shot despite not residing there.

That pushes those numbers higher, though it’s unclear by how much.

“At the end of the day, we are just guessing what the vaccination rate is,” Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said.

What remains clear is that case counts are continuing to drop in South Florida’s tri-county area. For the third straight week, Miami-Dade County sits at a pandemic low in terms of the case positivity rate, which measures the share of tests coming back positive.

That number sat at 2% in Miami-Dade from Oct. 22-28, 2.6% in Broward, and 3% in Palm Beach. Those Broward and Palm Beach levels are also nearing pandemic lows.

That’s led some COVID-19 experts to posit the nation could be nearing the endemic stage of the COVID-19 outbreak unless another variant emerges. Large majorities of the population have now been either vaccinated or infected by COVID-19 after this summer’s delta surge, which set death records in Florida and caused severe strain on Florida’s hospital systems.

That trauma touched many South Florida families who may find little comfort in the latest trough of cases. But while new data continues to show prior infections don’t offer as much protection as the vaccines, it does provide some protection. Combined with the vaccines, it may be difficult for the virus to find enough hosts to prompt another surge, experts say, though variants remain a wild-card.

Here are some of the weekly numbers for the previous three weeks throughout the South Florida tri-county area:

Miami-Dade

— Oct. 8-14: 3,033 newly confirmed cases, 2.2% positivity rate, 13,233 vaccine doses administered, 93% of 12-and-up population now vaccinated

— Oct. 15-21: 2,379 newly confirmed cases, 2.2% positivity rate, 13,217 vaccine doses administered, 93% of 12-and-up population now vaccinated

— Oct. 22-28: 2,215 newly confirmed cases, 2% positivity rate, 13,449 vaccine doses administered, 94% of 12-and-up population now vaccinated

Broward

— Oct. 8-14: 1,943 newly confirmed cases, 3.4% positivity rate, 6,485 vaccine doses administered, 82% of 12-and-up population now vaccinated

— Oct. 15-21: 1,560 newly confirmed cases, 2.9% positivity rate, 6,833 vaccine doses administered, 82% of 12-and-up population now vaccinated

— Oct. 22-28: 1,271 newly confirmed cases, 2.6% positivity rate, 6,554 vaccine doses administered, 83% of 12-and-up population now vaccinated

Palm Beach

— Oct. 8-14: 1,430 newly confirmed cases, 4.1% positivity rate, 3,632 vaccine doses administered, 75% of 12-and-up population now vaccinated

— Oct. 15-21: 1,062 newly confirmed cases, 3.4% positivity rate, 3,536 vaccine doses administered, 75% of 12-and-up population now vaccinated

— Oct. 22-28: 879 newly confirmed cases, 3% positivity rate, 3,962 vaccine doses administered, 75% of 12-and-up population now vaccinated

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected]



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