Florida’s vaccine hesitancy still a concern

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STATEWIDE — The CDC is now reporting more than one-third of U.S. adults have been fully vaccinated, but vaccine hesitancy still exists.

Leading national health experts and the White House are urging Americans to listen to the science and get vaccinated against COVID-19.

More than 200 million vaccine doses have been administered so far in the U.S., hitting President Joe Biden’s goal for his first 100 days in office.

The White House is making a major push to get more vaccines in arms.

According to CDC data, Central Florida and the Tampa Bay area are still seeing a vaccine hesitancy, with Polk County at the highest with 22% of people reluctant to get shots and Seminole County at the lowest with 18%, but all local counties are at similar numbers.

Department of Health data shows in Florida, 5.3 million people are fully vaccinated.

The CDC said 26.4% of Americans are fully vaccinated and that will need to about triple to get to herd immunity.

Health experts are addressing concerns about the lack of long-term data.

“But you know, some people have had this vaccine in their system now for nine months, so we’re getting a lot of information here,” Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health said.

The White House is also addressing access concerns.

“The reality is 90% of the country is now within five miles of a vaccine,” White House Senior Advisor for COVID-19 Response Andy Slavitt said.

Health experts know there are concerns about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine because it is not being used right now, but they are reiterating the blood clots are extremely rare.

They are also reminding that the M-RNA technology that is used for vaccines is not new and has been around since the 1980s.

The White House is doling out millions of dollars to help with vaccination efforts, including a new tax credit to reimburse small businesses that give workers paid time off to get vaccinated.    ​

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