Central Florida reports drop in vaccine demand as state adds 3,631 new COVID-19 cases

Few turn out for J&J vaccine after pause on shot is lifted

The FEMA-backed vaccination sites across Florida resumed the use of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Sunday but were met with low demand for the shots.
The FEMA-backed vaccination sites across Florida resumed the use of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Sunday but were met with low demand for the shots.

ORLANDO, Fla. – The FEMA-backed vaccination sites across Florida resumed the use of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Sunday but were met with low demand for the shots.

The federally-run vaccine site at Valencia College’s West Campus in Orlando only administered 268 doses of the 3,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines that were available on Sunday, site spokesman Ian Ohlin said. The means 90% of the daily supply for the J&J shot went unused Sunday.

Late Friday, the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lifted the pause, which began after 15 women, out of nearly 8 million people who received the vaccine, developed blood clots.

A federal advisory panel decided the benefits far outweighed the risks.

At the same time, Orange County, which is also seeing low vaccine demand, began its latest mobile vaccination efforts on Monday. The first of three vaccine sites opened at the Meadow Woods Recreation Center’s Gymnasium Monday morning.

The vaccination sites for the week include:

  • April 26-27: The Meadow Woods Recreation Center’s Gymnasium
  • April 28: Colonial High School, Jones High School and Evans High School
  • April 29-30: The Goldenrod Recreation Center’s Gymnasium

Even with demand for vaccinations slipping, those who have been inoculated are expected to travel more this year. However, hotel, restaurant and retail store owners warn that staffing shortages exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic could force them to limit occupancy, curtail hours and services or shut down facilities entirely.

It’s a problem being felt across the country and by Central Florida businesses.

Maxine Earhart, of Maxine’s on Shine in Orlando, said her business has had a hiring sign on the door for a month. She said other restaurant owners are dealing with the same staffing shortages.

“Lots and lots of restaurants. I have friends that can’t even open their restaurants for lunch because there just isn’t any labor pool for people to work that shift.”

[READ YESTERDAY’S REPORT: As FEMA-backed sites resume Johnson & Johnson vaccine use, Florida reports 4,716 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 26.

Cases

The Florida Department of Health reported 3,631 new cases on Monday, bringing the state’s overall total to 2,208,584 cases since the virus was first detected on March 1, 2020.

Deaths

Florida reported 66 new virus-related deaths Monday, bringing the death toll to 35,600. This number includes the 688 non-residents who died in Florida.

Hospitalizations

As of Monday afternoon, there were currently 3,374 people with the virus hospitalized in Florida, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration.

Since last March, 89,534 people have been hospitalized in Florida after complications from COVID-19. That number includes the 77 new patients who have been recently hospitalized due to the virus, according to the health department’s daily report released on Monday.

Positivity rate

The percent of positive results was 7.28% Sunday out of 49,885 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.

Vaccinations

The Florida Department of Health began releasing a daily report in December 2020 on COVID-19 vaccines administered throughout the state.

FDOH reports 5,798,487 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 Monday, 8,562,544 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 Monday.

CountyCasesNew CasesHospitalizationsNew hospitalizationsDeathsNew deaths
Brevard40,4321092,28728531
Flagler7,148739511130
Lake28,949571,46206230
Marion30,479412,08639480
Orange134,7772252,71301,2387
Osceola43,4831031,42614993
Polk66,6921345,06921,2971
Seminole33,255721,23004866
Sumter9,208357202730
Volusia42,292782,15047800

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About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.