Florida halts data count of people 'overdue' for 2nd dose of COVID-19 vaccine 

The Florida Department of Health is no longer recording data on how many people are "overdue" for their second dose of either the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines in their daily reports, according to a Jan. 21 Florida Today report.

A state health department spokesperson told the publication the decision to nix the metric reporting was made to align Florida's reporting with the CDC. The Pfizer vaccine is to be taken as two doses at least 21 days apart, while the Moderna vaccine's interval is 28 days, according to the CDC.

While patients should get their second shot as close to the recommended three-week or one-month interval, there is no "maximum interval between the first and second doses for either vaccine," the health department said. It also instructed not to get the second dose earlier than the recommended interval.

"Based on this guidance, no one is overdue for their second dose, but rather, will be eligible for their second dose," the health department said. "The Department of Health continues to recommend that individuals receive their second dose at 28 days for the Moderna vaccine, or 21 days for the Pfizer vaccine. We are also working directly with counties and local providers to make sure individuals are being proactively scheduled to receive their second dose."

Florida will continue tracking how many people received one dose and finished the series. However, not knowing the number of people who are delayed in receiving the second dose loses insight on whether the vaccine distribution is lagging in delivering second doses and also whether public health messaging needs improving, Thomas Unnasch, PhD, co-director of the University of South Florida's global health and infectious disease research center, told the publication.

"I think it would be really nice to know why they're not taking the second shot so that you know how to craft the public health message to encourage people to get it, explain to them why it's really important to do so," Dr. Unasch said.

Jay Wolfson, DrPH, public health and policy expert at USF, told the publication that the data point is "essential" for the state to keep records to ensure proper follow-up for second doses and check in on any adverse reactions with any associated batches of vaccine.

Click here to view the full report.

More articles on data analytics:
Delays with Texas' coronavirus vaccine reporting system may hinder allocation of doses
California likely missed goal of 1M vaccines in 10 days: 6 details on data issues slowing rollout 
COVID Tracking Project co-founder urges Biden administration to keep HHS' hospital data reporting system


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