Sep 27, 2022 - News

Weak demand for bivalent COVID boosters in Florida

Ramiro Guzman receives a COVID-19 booster during an event hosted by the Chicago Department of Public Health at the Southwest Senior Center earlier this month.

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Floridians aren't rushing to get the updated COVID-19 boosters that were distributed statewide this month.

What's happening: A state health report released Friday shows that only 37,000 of Florida's 20 million eligible residents received the new bivalent vaccine, which is intended to target Omicron subvariants, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports.

  • Nationwide, less than 2% of eligible people have received the boosters, per NBC News.

Why it matters: If the rollout continues at this pace, some public health officials are predicting another uptick in COVID cases around Thanksgiving, the Sentinel reports.

What they're saying: "If we start to see a large uptick in cases, I think we're going to see a lot of people getting the [new COVID] vaccine," said David Dowdy, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, according to AP.

What to watch: Pfizer and BioNTech announced Monday that they're seeking emergency use authorization from the FDA for the updated boosters for children ages 5-11.

  • The move comes after Moderna requested authorization last week for children 6-17 years old.

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