Updated: How close is Florida to herd immunity?

Updated: How close is Florida to herd immunity?

Bottom Line: Herd immunity. From the onset of the pandemic, we’ve wanted to get there, but the details about that happens have brought about endless debates. With the advent of the vaccines the conversation shifted from debates about how to get there to when we would get there. Truth is like any other moving target we probably won’t know until well after it’s happened, but we can start putting together the pieces in Florida based on who’s had the virus, who’s been vaccinated and our current population.

  • 21.7 million - Florida’s current population
  • 2.08 million – total Florida population who've recovered from COVID-19 or are currently recovering
  • 7.1 million – total population vaccinated with at least one dose of a COVID vaccine

That means at least 42.3% of Floridians have either had COVID-19 or have been vaccinated against it. It’s still a long way from where we theoretically will catch the herd, though theories exist that multiples more people have had the virus than were ever reported. We also know not all Floridians who’ve had the virus have been diagnosed with it. My most recent analysis suggested about 19% more Floridians have had COVID-19 than what’s been diagnosed during the pandemic. Add that into the mix and it’s likely 44% of Florida’s population has either had COVID-19 or has been vaccinated with at least a first dose of vaccine. 

Experts have often said the 70% threshold is the entry level number needed for herd immunity. Given Florida’s current vaccination rates, we’re currently pacing reaching that level in late May. Of course, the recent surge in cases in Florida on back of Spring Break is also aiding in speeding up the timeline.

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