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How hard will it be to vaccinate Florida? Here are the numbers.

The size of the task is staggering, with several “critical populations” to consider.

Florida, like other states, has struggled in the early stages of its effort to distribute COVID-19 vaccines. But it’s fair to say the rollout is a task for the ages, staggering in its size and complexity as supplies are limited and several “critical populations” need to be considered.

The numbers show how difficult it will be to inoculate the third-largest state:

21.7 million

Florida population as of July 1, 2020, when the U.S. Census Bureau posted it latest estimate.

13 million to 19.6 million

Estimated range of the numbers of people who will need to become immune for COVID-19 to be stamped out in the state — anywhere from 60 to 90 percent of the population, according to experts. Immunity is achieved through natural infection or vaccination.

4.3 million

Floridians age 65 and over, the group recently identified by Gov. Ron DeSantis as next in line to get vaccinated.

2.7 million

Floridians with disabilities, including many with conditions that make them more vulnerable to COVID-19.

1.3 million

Health care professionals in Florida — from doctors and nurses to dentists, pharmacists, chiropractors, therapists, trainers and others.

1.1 million

Students at state universities and colleges.


Residents and staff in the state’s 4,480 licensed long-term care facilities.


People in state-run correctional facilities.


People vaccinated in Florida as of 12:05 a.m. Friday, Jan. 8.

Sources: Florida COVID-19 Vaccination Plan (draft); Florida Department of Health; U.S. Census Bureau; World Health Organization; public statements by Dr. Anthony Fauci, director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

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