Vaccination rate decreases as age eligibility expands and infections remain high in Brevard

·3 min read

Support local journalism. Unlock unlimited digital access to floridatoday.com Click here and subscribe today.

Data released by the Florida Department of Health on Friday shows that the vaccination rate on the Space Coast has decreased though cases and hospitalizations remain elevated.

From June 24 to June 30, only 67% of Brevard County residents had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. This makes for a 2% decrease in the vaccination rate since the last time FDOH released COVID-19 data.

The decrease can be attributed to the increase in who is eligible for a vaccine. Two weeks ago only those ages 5 and older could get inoculated against the novel coronavirus. But as of June 17 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization to the Moderna COVID-19 and the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 6 months to 5 years old. Now, the vaccination rate counts individuals over 6 months old as eligible to receive the vaccines.

COVID vaccines for kids under 5: Florida doctors begin ordering COVID shots for young kids as DeSantis and White House feud

COVID-19 vaccines: Florida didn't pre-order kids' COVID-19 vaccines, but Brevard doctors have them for use

One million deaths and counting: Endless grief and lasting questions: COVID's grim toll

Sean Harris gets a COVID-19 vaccine in August 2021 at the Greater Allan Chapel AME Church in Melbourne.
Sean Harris gets a COVID-19 vaccine in August 2021 at the Greater Allan Chapel AME Church in Melbourne.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 case counts increased slightly from June 24 to June 30 compared to the last period two weeks ago when FDOH released data. Over the last two weeks, there were 308.2 cases per 100,000 population, representing a total of 1,930 COVID-19 cases and a an 18.1% positivity rate. Two weeks ago there were 301.5 cases per 100,000 population and a 15.9% positivity rate for COVID-19.

Hospitalization also increased this past week. From June 23 to June 29 there were 85 new COVID-19 hospitalizations countywide, according to CDC data.

Because hospitalization and case rates this past week remained elevated Brevard County is still a community of high COVID-19 transmission. The CDC calculates transmission levels through a combination of hospitalizations and case rates.

From May 29 to June 25, there were eight COVID-19 related deaths in Brevard County. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 2,014 COVID-19 related deaths in Brevard County.

The CDC advises that in communities of high transmission, residents should mask-up indoors, vaccinate and take a COVID-19 test when feeling unwell.

According to FDOH, of the eligible population in Florida, age group vaccination rates across the state are:

  • Ages 6 months- 4 years, 0.4% vaccinated.

  • Ages 5-11, 24% vaccinated.

  • Ages 12-19, 63% vaccinated.

  • Ages 20-29, 65% vaccinated.

  • Ages 30-39, 72% vaccinated.

  • Ages 40-49, 80% vaccinated.

  • Ages 50-59, 84% vaccinated.

  • Ages 60-64, 88% vaccinated.

  • Ages 65+, 93% vaccinated.

Nationwide, 71.2% of Americans ages 5 and older have been fully vaccinated. There have been 87,407,521 COVID-19 cases and 1,013,261 deaths nationwide since the start of the pandemic.

Where to get vaccinated

The Florida Department of Health is offering COVID-19 vaccines at three sites.

  • Viera clinic, at 2555 Judge Fran Jamieson Way.

  • Melbourne clinic, 601 E. University Blvd.

  • Titusville clinic, 611 N. Singleton Ave.

Residents also can get vaccinated at Omni Healthcare’s offices, as well as at its walk-in vaccination clinic located in Suite 303 on the third floor of 1344 S. Apollo Blvd. in Melbourne, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. Vaccinations also are available from 9 a.m. to noon in Suite 2C of Omni’s 1344 S. Apollo Blvd. complex.

Amira Sweilem is the data Reporter at FLORIDA TODAY. Contact Sweilem at 386-406-5648 or asweilem@floridatoday.com

Support local journalism. Subscribe today.

This article originally appeared on Florida Today: With vaccines available for younger kids, vax rate drops In Brevard