By Peter D'Oench

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – More than 45,000 people who received their first COVID-19 vaccination in Florida are overdue for their second and final dose.

That’s according to the Florida Department of Health, which reported 1,031,795 people had been vaccinated in the state as of January 18th.

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Of those, 938,537 had received their first dose and 893,481 who have not passed the recommended time frame of three to four weeks, depending on which vaccine they were given, to receive their second dose.

The health department said 45,056 people had received their first dose but were overdue in getting their second dose.

Dr. Aileen Marty, an FIU professor of medicine and infectious diseases specialist, told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that she is concerned.

“Ideally, everyone should be taking the dose under the dose interval schedule that’s been set up. It would be a lot better if everyone took the booster shots on time. You really need that second dose and it’s important that everyone have or makes an appointment for that second dose,” she said. “I had my second dose and I didn’t have any symptoms, just a sore arm for a while.”

She said there is some leeway, but said experts agree you should not be any more than two weeks late in receiving the booster. People will run the risk of having to start the process all over again.

Volunteers in clinical trials have reported more problems with side effects after the booster such as muscle aches and pains within the first 48 hours.

But Dr. Marty said, “You always have with any decision in life the possibility of small problems but it is overwhelmingly worth it to take the risk of side effects compared with the risks of this horrible disease and continuing to transmit it person to person.”


At the John Knox Village retirement community in Pompano Beach where some 899 people were vaccinated on Tuesday including 600 residents and 200 employees, Leslie Schlienger, the Home health administrator, said “It is important that people have the second vaccine because it is the booster that really ensures immunity.”

Residents told CBS4 they were overjoyed to receive their first shot and said they would not be deterred by any possible side effects in getting their booster shots in 3 weeks.

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“I was ready for this,” said Gayle Boamhawer. “I stayed on the internet and the telephone for hours and it didn’t do any good. Now thanks to John Knox Village I am happy to say we have our shots and I am looking forward to getting that 2nd shot.”

More than 93,000 have received both doses in the state and are considered to be fully immune.

In Miami-Dade, 104,421 people have received their first dose and 15,107 have received both doses.

In Broward, 80,371 people have received their first dose, while 12,609 have received both doses.

In Monroe, 3,702 people have received their first dose and 245 people have completed the series. The state health department for the county said there have been delays in getting additional doses of the vaccine.

In the last two weeks, 741,948 people received their first dose in the state.

The roll-out of the vaccine nationwide has been anything but smooth. Only about 40 percent of vaccines shipped have been administered, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

According to the CDC, as of last Friday, 31,161,075 doses had been sent out, but only 12,279,180 doses had been administered.

Of that, the CDC said 10,595,866 people had received “one or more doses” and 1,610,524 had received both doses.

As President-elect Joe Biden prepares to be sworn into office on Wednesday, a different milestone will loom over his inauguration – the U-S is about to hit 400-thousand dead from the coronavirus.

Biden has set an ambitious goal of 100-million vaccine doses in his first 100 days in office, which Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says is doable.

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Biden is expected to participate in a coronavirus memorial Wednesday evening at the Lincoln Memorial.

Peter D'Oench