FOX 35 INVESTIGATES: 40,000-plus Floridians overdue for 2nd dose of the COVID vaccine
ORLANDO, Fla. - More than 40,000 people are overdue for their second dose of the coronavirus vaccines.
For weeks, officials have been saying the second doses are coming.
"Don’t be concerned. We have it right now under control as much as we can," said Dr. Raul Pino, from the Florida Department of Health in Orange County.
Now some finally are. Sixteen-thousand second doses of the Moderna vaccine arrived in Orange County Thursday, and more than 8,000 arrived in Seminole County.
FOX 35 INVESTIGATES: State's Emergency Management Director explains county vaccine allotments
But that doesn’t explain this number: more than 40,000 people in Florida overdue for their second vaccine.
"That’s also one in every three people for which 28 days has passed so it’s not something that is uncommon," said USF associate epidemiology professor Dr. Jason Salemi.
The number, from the state Department of Health, sounds bad, but there are four different possibilities to explain it.
Option one: that some sites have run out of second doses.
"Was it that the second dose wasn’t available at the location that they were at? That’s kind of option one and that’s not eth good option," said Dr. Salemi.
Option two: people simply missed or forgot their follow-up appointments.
FOX 35 INVESTIGATES: Assisted living facilities question why residents still don't have COVID-19 vaccines
Option three: some are scheduled to get the second dose several days after the recommended day. Epidemiologist Dr. Jason Salemi says he scheduled his parents a few days after the 28th day because there is some wiggle room. "If these people are getting ready to get their second dose in the next couple of days, then it’s not something that should worry us."
Option four: there could be a reporting lag from the state. It wouldn’t be the first time. "If I had to guess at this I think in part it’s going to be because of a reporting lag," said Dr. Salemi.
That means those numbers could change dramatically day-to-day.
According to the CDC, second doses can be taken any time after those recommended 21st or 28th days. Dr. Salemi says that makes sense, but still the sooner the better.