ORLANDO, Fla. – Though the state continues to report thousands of new coronavirus infections, Central Florida is working to ramp up vaccination plans and make sure shots get to the most vulnerable populations.
Seminole County is marking a major milestone this week as it begins administering second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to the public beginning Monday. The county rolled out its first round of shots shortly before the new year.
Emergency Manager Alan Harris called this milestone an exciting time for the county.
“It’s a lot of hope. This is something we’ve been waiting for for months and months and months and to see that we are getting to the completion for some individuals and they’re going to have up to 90-something percent immunity to the virus, that is amazing,” Harris said.
Though completing the series of shots for hundreds of Floridians is a promising milestone, Harris echoed what many have expressed statewide: that there’s not enough vaccine.
Harris said this week Seminole County is expecting to get 1,900 doses, which is half of what they got last week. He said the county got almost 6,000 doses the first week of January, meaning shipments are supplying significantly fewer doses to plan for.
“If they’re cut in half again, we’re really going to shut down operations. There’s nothing for us to do. We’ll continue the second doses, but the first doses we’re not going to be able to do because we continually get cut by the state on vaccine allotment,” Harris said.
[WATCH BELOW: Brevard County Public Schools hosts vaccination clinic for staff]
As counties plan to administer second shots, they are also working to get people their first one.
Officials are gearing up for three more days of vaccinations this week at the Volusia County Fairgrounds site in DeLand.
Site leaders say reservations for Monday are already booked, but registration will open up again at 9 a.m. on Wednesday. Those appointments will be to schedule vaccinations Jan. 28 and Jan. 29, but site officials are also anticipating that appointments will be booked quickly.
In Brevard County, the Florida Department of Health vaccinated teachers, substitutes and other district employees over 65 years of age during a one-day vaccination event in Viera.
The school district notified eligible employees ahead of time and was able to vaccinate more than 300 people Saturday.
Orange County will begin vaccinating senior school employees who want the shot starting Sunday.
Though Gov. Ron DeSantis has expressed that each Florida county has at least one site offering the vaccine, the issue has been whether or not the sites have enough supply to keep running.
“We’re getting a couple thousand for an entire week,” Harris said. “It’s almost impossible to plan for the future when you have so little vaccine coming to the county.”
To find out if you’re eligible for a vaccine in Florida, click here.
[READ YESTERDAY’S REPORT: Florida’s positivity rate drops as state rolls out new COVID-19 vaccine system]
Below is a breakdown of Florida COVID-19 data reported by the state on Jan. 24.
The Florida Department of Health reported 9,432 new cases on Sunday bringing the state’s overall total to 1,649,449 cases since the coronavirus pandemic began in March.
Florida reported 132 new virus-related deaths Sunday, raising the death toll to 25,693. This number includes the 400 non-residents who died in Florida.
As of Sunday afternoon, there were currently 6,726 people with the virus hospitalized in Florida, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration.
Since March, 70,181 people have been hospitalized in Florida after complications from COVID-19. That number includes the 179 new patients who have been recently hospitalized due to the virus, according to the health department’s daily report released on Friday.
The percent of positive results was 8.25% Sunday, a significant drop from the day prior.
Health officials say the rate should remain between 5% and 10% to prove a community has a hold of the virus and is curbing infections.
The Florida Department of Health recently began releasing a daily report on COVID-19 vaccines administered throughout the state.
As of Sunday, 1,479,622 people have been vaccinated in Florida. The FDOH also reports that 151,447 people have received their second shot.
The state was originally reporting how many people were overdue for their second vaccination but has since removed that data point.
See COVID-19 data for the Central Florida region below:
|County||Cases||New cases||Hospitalizations||New hospitalizations||Deaths||New Deaths|