By Joan Murray

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The demand for the COVID vaccine far outweighs the supply in South Florida. And as new strains of the virus circulate in the state, a lot of people aren’t letting down their guard.

At Trade Winds Park on Monday, the line for getting vaccinated wasn’t as long as it was a month ago. Nonetheless, the wait was still long.

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“Got a phone call last week that they had had the appointment. She gave me three times, you know, 10:30, 12:30, 2:30,” said Jane Barone. “I took a 10:30 appointment not realizing that I’d be in line for three hours.”

South Florida’s infection rate and hospitalizations are down – all signs pointing in the right direction.

“The vaccine certainly has helped, I think,” said Dr. Joshua Lenchus, the chief medical officer of Broward Health. “And then as this wave progresses through its natural course, as we’ve seen through the other waves back last summer and last spring, I think we’re seeing that we’re turning the corner, yes.”

But the COVID variants are a worry. Florida now has the highest rate of the UK variant, which is more contagious and can make you sicker.

CBS4 has learned there are doctors treating patients who have been re-infected with COVID.

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Dr. Lenchus said the current vaccines provide some protection.

“Even if it’s not at the 95 percentile that we are aiming for with the Pfizer or the Moderna, even if it’s at 50 or 70%, it’s still some element of protection,” he said.

Still, the variants are causing some South Florida seniors who’ve been vaccinated to redouble their efforts at self-protecting.

“I do wish people would follow more guidelines. I think the scene on Miami Beach yesterday with or Saturday was terrible,” said Jo VanSiclen, referencing large crowds seen on Miami Beach over the weekend where there was little to no social distancing and a lack of masks.

After some reservation, Lilian Carrion said her 81-year-old father and 76-year-old mother have finally decided to get vaccinated.

“Feel that right now you can just go and do whatever you want. I believe the vaccine, you know, it’s gonna take a while for, you know, for everything to settle down,” she said.

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The governor said nearly half of all people 65 and older in Florida have been vaccinated. He said he doesn’t plan any restrictions because the economy is doing better than in most places.