So far, mostly women and middle-aged people in FL are getting COVID vaccines

States have begun to distribute COVID-19 vaccines. Credit: Marko Geber/Getty Images

While Gov. Ron DeSantis is prioritizing vaccines for the elderly — particularly residents in nursing homes — middle-aged people are getting more COVID-19 vaccinations than older adults, at least so far.

And women, by far, are getting more immunizations compared to men, according to the newest vaccine data from the Florida Department of Health.

That’s likely to be expected because there are more women in Florida, and women make up a large part of the health care sector.

Immunizations for frontline health care workers have been a top priority.

The state health agency just recently began tracking the number of people getting immunized, now that COVID vaccines have launched in Florida.

So far, 68,133 people have gotten their first dose of the vaccines.

That number is considered low, given Florida’s population of 21.5 million. But the new data offers a first glimpse at how the vaccines are distributing doses to people.

Overall, 59 percent of women have gotten the shots so far, though women make up 51 percent of Florida’s population. The state’s data provided numbers of vaccines; the Florida Phoenix calculated the percentages compared to the total group.

Educators — who expect to be in line for immunizations at some point — make up the vast majority of the massive school workforce, so it’s likely that women will continue to see more immunizations compared to men.

The vaccine data by age ranges show that middle-aged people have had more immunizations than the elderly.

Of the total 68,133 people immunized so far, about 22 percent are from ages 35 to 44. Another 22 percent of immunizations are from ages 45 to 54. Those two middle-aged categories combined represent 44 percent of the total people immunized so far.

In contrast, only 12.5 percent of people 65 and older have received the vaccines, according to the data.

The state health agency also provides data based on race, but that information was more difficult to analyze because the state provided “white” as a race category, but Hispanic or Latino people were not specifically labeled in the data.

Only about 8 percent of Black people have gotten the vaccines, though Blacks make up 17 percent of Florida’s population, according to Census data.

Based on data for Florida’s 67 counties, Miami-Dade and Broward Counties show the largest number of immunizations so far. That’s expected because of the large number of COVID-19 infections in those counties.

Of the total immunizations of 68,133, about 13,000 — 19 percent — were from Miami-Dade, and about 16 percent from Broward. Other counties with larger immunization numbers include Orange, Hillsborough, Pinellas and Duval.

You can go online to see the health agency’s “COVID-19 Vaccine Report.”

The report will be updated daily, according to the state health department, and will include a breakdown of data based on age, race, sex and county.

Diane Rado
Diane Rado has covered state and local government and public schools in six states over some 30 years, focusing on policy and investigative stories as well as legislative and political reporting. She spent most of her career at the St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay) Times and the Chicago Tribune. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and did a fellowship in education reform at the University of Michigan in 1999-2000. She is married to a journalist and has three adult children.