Johnson & Johnson announces vaccine efficacy as Florida reports 10,871 new COVID-19 cases

More cases of contagious variant turning up in Central Florida

This Sept. 2020 photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows the investigational Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. Johnson & Johnson's long-awaited COVID-19 vaccine appears to protect against symptomatic illness with just one shot  not as strong as some two-shot rivals but still potentially helpful for a world in dire need of more doses. Johnson & Johnson said Friday, Jan. 29, 2021 that in the U.S. and seven other countries, the first single-shot vaccine appears 66% effective overall at preventing moderate to severe COVID-19. It was more protective against severe symptoms, 85%. (Cheryl Gerber/Johnson & Johnson via AP)
This Sept. 2020 photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows the investigational Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. Johnson & Johnson's long-awaited COVID-19 vaccine appears to protect against symptomatic illness with just one shot not as strong as some two-shot rivals but still potentially helpful for a world in dire need of more doses. Johnson & Johnson said Friday, Jan. 29, 2021 that in the U.S. and seven other countries, the first single-shot vaccine appears 66% effective overall at preventing moderate to severe COVID-19. It was more protective against severe symptoms, 85%. (Cheryl Gerber/Johnson & Johnson via AP) (Cheryl Gerber)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Johnson & Johnson’s long-awaited single-dose vaccine could soon go before federal regulators, seeking emergency use authorization.

The company announced Friday that the vaccine developed by the drug making arm of its company, Janssen, is 66% effective overall at preventing moderate to severe illness and 85% effective against preventing the most serious symptoms.

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There was some geographic variation. The vaccine worked better in the U.S. — 72% effective against moderate to severe COVID-19 – compared to 57% in South Africa, where it was up against an easier-to-spread mutated virus.

The company said within a week, it will file an application for emergency use in the U.S., and then abroad.

Health experts believe that a single-dose vaccine that can be stored in a normal refrigerator, like the J&J vaccine, could be a game-changer when it comes to quickly and inexpensively vaccinating larger populations. The two vaccines currently in use in the U.S., Pfizer and Moderna, both require two doses. The Pfizer vaccine must be stored in an ultra-cold freezer.

Meanwhile, Florida rolled out a statewide online system that allows people to register for the Moderna and Pfizer shots when they become available.

To find out if you’re eligible for a vaccine in Florida, click here.

The news of a potential third vaccine candidate comes as Central Florida is starting to see new cases of a more contagious variant of COVID-19, B.1.1.7, which first turned up in the United Kingdom.

Six cases of the COVID-19 variant have been reported in Seminole County, according to the department of health.

Two cases were reported in Orange County, according to Dr. Raul Pino with the Florida Department of Health.

The cases in Orange County were from two people visiting the area.

Around 300 cases have been reported in the U.S, the CDC reports there have been 92 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant in Florida.

[READ YESTERDAY’S REPORT: Tampa looks to curb COVID-19 spread at Super Bowl as Florida reports 11,326 new cases ]


Below is a breakdown of Florida COVID-19 data reported by the state on Jan. 29

Cases

The Florida Department of Health reported 10,871 new cases on Friday bringing the state’s overall total to 1,698,570 cases since the coronavirus pandemic began in March.

Deaths

Florida reported 229 new virus-related deaths Friday, raising the death toll to 26,685. This number includes the 431 non-residents who died in Florida.

Hospitalizations

As of Friday afternoon, there were currently 6,378 people with the virus hospitalized in Florida, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration.

Since March, 71,864 people have been hospitalized in Florida after complications from COVID-19. That number includes the 329 new patients who have been recently hospitalized due to the virus, according to the health department’s daily report released on Friday.

Positivity rate

The percent of positive results was 14.46% Thursday, nearly double the previous day, out of 75,181 tests reported to the state. However, the state conducted nearly 72,000 fewer tests than the previous day.

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.

Vaccinations

The Florida Department of Health recently began releasing a daily report on COVID-19 vaccines administered throughout the state.

As of Friday, 1,605,995 people have been vaccinated in Florida. The FDOH also reports that 273,249 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 to align with the Centers for Disease Control guidelines.

[Register for the COVID-19 vaccine in Florida here]


See COVID-19 data for the Central Florida region below:

CountyCasesNew casesHospitalizationsNew hospitalizationsDeathsNew Deaths
Brevard28,7921881,768763912
Flagler5,203582910701
Lake21,5111681,1261342436
Marion24,1781661,53415740
Orange101,9557092,195149370
Osceola33,1741971,191137012
Polk49,6923443,800329644
Seminole23,8611151,03213723
Sumter6,9976443821860
Volusia30,3203911,506185340

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