For more than two months, the Tampa Bay Times and other news organizations have been asking Florida for data that breaks down how many vaccinated people have been infected, hospitalized or died of COVID-19.

According to Yahoo News, They are called “breakthrough” cases, data that would show how effectively the vaccine has protected Floridians — and how vulnerable the unvaccinated are. But the Florida Department of Health has continually refused those requests, citing what public health and legal experts say are misplaced privacy concerns.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also refuses to release that data, deferring to the state on whether to share it publicly. It’s information Florida residents and researchers have repeatedly asked for. Now it’s crucial to determine how vulnerable Floridians are to omicron, the highly contagious variant that quickly became the dominant strain in the U.S.



The Tampa Bay Times reported that it’s information Florida residents and researchers have repeatedly asked for. Now it’s crucial to determine how vulnerable Floridians are to omicron, the highly contagious variant that quickly became the dominant strain in the U.S.

“It’s the number one thing that people ask me for,” said University of South Florida epidemiologist Jason Salemi. That data may be more important than ever, he said, because it’s “especially pertinent to how omicron may or may not spread.”

Breakthrough cases demonstrate how effective vaccines are and can also show how that protection changes over time. Immunity from initial vaccinations wanes 3 to 6 months later, health experts say, so boosters are crucial to fighting off the new variant.

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