COVID-19 infections rise by 7,925 in Florida as effective vaccine nears completion

88 new deaths reported

FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2020, file photo, pedestrians walk past Pfizer world headquarters in New York. Pfizer announced Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020, more results in its ongoing coronavirus vaccine study that suggest the shots are 95% effective a month after the first dose. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File) (Bebeto Matthews, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

As coronavirus infections climb, news of an effective vaccine is making headlines around the world.

Pfizer said Wednesday that new test results show its coronavirus vaccine is 95% effective, is safe and also protects older people most at risk of dying — the last data needed to seek emergency use of limited shot supplies as the catastrophic outbreak worsens across the globe.

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Pfizer and BioNTech had initially estimated the vaccine was more than 90% effective after 94 infections had been counted in a study that included 44,000 people. With the new announcement, the company now has accumulated 170 infections in the study -- and said only eight of them occurred in volunteers who got the actual vaccine rather than a dummy shot. One of those eight developed the severe disease, the company said.

The companies have not yet released detailed data on their study, and results have not been analyzed by independent experts. Also still to be determined are important questions such as how long protection lasts and whether people might need boosters.

But all eyes are on the progress of potential vaccines as the grim infection rate jumps in the U.S. and abroad as winter weather forces people indoors, in the close quarters that fuels viral spread.

To read more about the race to create a safe, effective vaccine, click or tap here.

Two vaccine makers have said that preliminary results from their late-stage studies suggest their experimental vaccines are strongly protective. Moderna this week said its vaccine appears nearly 95% effective. This comes on the heels of Pfizer's announcement that its shot appeared similarly effective.

Below is information provided by the Florida Department of Health for Wednesday, Nov. 18.


The Florida Department of Health reported 7,925 new cases on Wednesday, bringing the state’s overall total to 905,248 cases since March.


The Florida Department of Health on Wednesday reported 88 people have recently died from COVID-19. As of Wednesday’s coronavirus report, a total of 17,949 deaths across the state have been related to the coronavirus, a number that includes 218 non-resident deaths in Florida.

State health officials have always maintained that virus fatalities are often delayed in being reported to the FDOH, with some deaths not reported for a month or more.


Currently, there are 3,352 people with the virus hospitalized in Florida as of Wednesday afternoon, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration.

The Florida Department of Health reported 308 recent hospitalizations.

Positivity rate

The positivity rate for Tuesday, the most recent number available, is 8.13%, according to the FDOH.

[READ YESTERDAY’S REPORT: ‘It’s about to go off:’ As coronavirus cases rise, Florida reports more than 7,400 new infections]

Below is a breakdown of the coronavirus numbers across the 10-county Central Florida region for Nov. 18:

CountyTotal CasesNew CasesTotal HospitalizationsNew HospitalizationsTotal DeathsNew Deaths

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