Florida bill would require more detailed vaccine demographic data

A bill filed in Florida would require the state’s Department of Health (DOH) to publish more detailed daily online reports of vaccine and testing data at a county level. The data would include demographics like gender, age, race and ethnicity of tested and vaccinated patients from each individual county in the state.

Representative Nicholas Duran, a Democrat who represents parts of Miami-Dade County, filed HB 989 on Monday. He filed the bill after being told by county officials that this data could help them develop more effective testing and vaccine rollout efforts.

“Miami-Dade County came to me mentioning that it was not receiving this data from the state and that it believes it can be leveraged to provide a more effective effort on both the vaccine and testing fronts. Providing such information on a county level will allow for government and health officials to more readily assess the effectiveness of testing and vaccination sites, enable the identification of areas that require an enhanced presence of testing or vaccination sites based on aggregate data, and ensure that testing or vaccination locations are situated in areas of greatest need and demand.”

The DOH currently publishes a daily report of vaccine doses administered. It includes statewide demographic data, reporting the race, gender, age and ethnicity of those who have received the vaccine. It also reports daily updates for vaccine totals in each county, though it does not include the demographic data for the individual counties. If the bill passes, county level demographic data will be included in a similar report published each day.

Only two states have administered more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine than Florida since the rollout began in December. Nearly 3.5 million of the 4.5 million doses the state has been allocated by the federal government have been used so far.

 

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Florida has recorded 1.8 million cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began in March. Many of the cases have been concentrated in the South Florida counties of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach. The state has also recorded 29,157 deaths as of Tuesday afternoon.