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COVID-19 vaccines: Florida needs to step it up to reach Biden's goal

The president is pushing new initiatives to vaccinate at least 70 percent of adult Americans by July 4.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Florida recently crossed the 60-percent threshold of adults who have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

It's a good push toward keeping the pandemic at bay, but it might not be enough to reach President Joe Biden's goal of celebrating independence from the coronavirus. Since mid-April, the demand for vaccines has dropped off significantly.

Data for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows 60.9 percent of Florida's adult population have received a dose of Johnson & Johnson's one-shot vaccine or Pfizer's two-shot product as of June 7.

That's 26th in the nation, above states like Texas (58.2 percent) and Georgia (51.9 percent) but below others including California (71.2 percent) and New York (68.9 percent).

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With just under a month to go, The New York Times recently found Florida might just miss the 70-percent threshold if it continues its current pace. The outlet projects the state will only reach 67 percent on July 4.

There remain concerns among health experts that the virus could continue spreading if there are places across the country where people are not vaccinated.

"You still have these significant pockets and states where the rates of immunity are much lower," said Dr. Marcus Plescia, the chief medical officer for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials to the Times. "So we could have another wave pop up."

The state of Florida has an interactive map showing vaccine locations statewide and county by county.

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