TAMPA, Fla. - Across the country, the demand for the COVID-19 vaccine still far outweighs the supply. However, vaccine makers vow a surge in doses is coming.
Governor Ron DeSantis said Thursday he thinks the shot should be easier for most Floridians to get, come April.
According to the CDC, Pfizer and Moderna have shipped 88,669,035 shots nationwide, so far, and the drug makers expect to more than double that by the end of March.
"My team has worked very hard with vaccine manufacturers Pfizer and Moderna to ensure we have enough supply for all adult Americans by the end of July," President Joe Biden said.
Bay Area experts say those estimates are based on the best-case scenario, pointing out a massive jump in supply comes with additional challenges.
"If they deliver that number of doses, are the states gonna be able to get those doses into the arms of people? Do we have the infrastructure there to do that? I’m not sure that that’s the case," said University of South Florida College of Public Health Distinguished Professor Dr. Thomas Unnasch.
In Florida, that would require more vaccine clinic locations and more people to administer the shots.
So far, the CDC says 4,502,702 coronavirus shots have been given out in the Sunshine State, with 13.4% of the population getting at least one dose. DeSantis says he expects access to the vaccine to expand greatly over the next two months.
"As we get into April this thing is not gonna be very difficult for people to be able get, I think the supply is gonna be very robust," he said.
If the supply comes through, experts say it will still take some time to get everyone vaccinated if the distribution does not catch up.
"The state’s doing about 95,000 a day now and that’s pretty much the average they’ve been doing over the last month," Unnasch said. "So, it’s gonna take 179 days to finish off everybody who says they want a vaccine, which would be just about Labor Day, August 28."
Unnasch says it will take even longer to hit the 80% of the population needed to achieve herd immunity against COVID-19.
"The state and the federal government, you know, really needs to up their game," said Unnasch.
The Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine is expected to get a green light from regulators soon. President Biden says there is a plan to roll out doses right away; however, it is not clear how many would be allocated to come here to Florida.
Data from the CDC about vaccine allocations and totals: