ORLANDO, Fla. – A batch of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine doses recently failed a quality standards test and cannot be used, but the full impact of this failure remains unclear.
The news came out Wednesday, the same day the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website showed Florida was set to see a big increase in its allocation of the single-dose vaccine, 313,200 doses next week compared to the 122,900 doses received this week.
During a news conference Thursday, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Florida health officials have not been notified that the impending shipment of the single-dose vaccines will face delays due to the mishap, Gov. Ron DeSantis said.
DeSantis said he believes the incoming doses are “still on track” for Florida.
“We have not been told anything differently, we’ve asked,” the governor said, adding, “We think it’s going to impact, not next week but the following weeks, and there will definitely be an impact.”
The governor said he was not concerned about any future delays of the Johnson & Johnson shots with plenty of Moderna and Pfizer shots to go around.
Florida is also set to receive 286,62 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 217,400 doses of the Moderna vaccine, for a total of 817,250 doses. That is an increase of 134,180 doses over this week’s shipment. These numbers do not include the number of vaccine doses given to pharmacies by the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program or those going to the FEMA-backed vaccine sites, like the one at Valencia College West Campus.
While J&J deals with its quality control, Pfizer is showing more favorable research for its two-dose vaccine. The company announced Thursday its vaccine continues to be effective against COVID-19 up to six months later.
The companies said the vaccine was 91% effective against symptomatic disease and was even more protective in preventing severe disease. There were no serious safety concerns and the vaccine also appeared to work against a variant first detected in South Africa, the companies said.
The news comes as the CDC issued its safety guidelines for gatherings during the upcoming Easter holiday. The CDC said anyone who is fully vaccinated can gather safely with other fully vaccinated people without wearing masks.
Health officials said fully vaccinated people can hangout inside with unvaccinated people from one other household without masks.
For people who have not received the vaccine, the CDC wants people to wear masks inside and outside at Easter gatherings.
[READ YESTERDAY’S REPORT: Vaccine companies look to inoculate children as Florida sees 5,166 new COVID-19 cases]
Find the state-run COVID-19 dashboard below:
Below is a breakdown of Florida COVID-19 data reported by the state on April 1.
The Florida Department of Health reported 6,895 new cases on Thursday, bringing the state’s overall total to 2,064,525 cases since the virus was first detected on March 1, 2020.
Florida reported 71 new virus-related deaths Thursday, bringing the death toll to 34,143. This number includes the 649 non-residents who died in Florida.
As of Thursday afternoon, there were currently 2,844 people with the virus hospitalized in Florida, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration.
Since last March, 85,373 people have been hospitalized in Florida after complications from COVID-19. That number includes the 176 new patients who have been recently hospitalized due to the virus, according to the health department’s daily report released on Thursday.
The percent of positive results was 6.41% Wednesday out of 107,491 tests. The numbers reported daily by the state reflect test results 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 began releasing a daily report in December on COVID-19 vaccines administered throughout the state.
FDOH reports 3,398,856 people are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. These individuals either received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine or completed a two-shot series.
As of Thursday, 5,979,461 people have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.
Below is the Central Florida region breakdown of new cases, deaths and hospitalizations for Thursday.
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