ORLANDO, Fla. – Pfizer and BioNTech are seeking full approval for its COVID-19 vaccine from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
According to the Associated Press, the companies announced Friday that full FDA approval is being sought for vaccine use on those 16 and older. Right now, the vaccine is being used under emergency authorization from the FDA.
The two companies say they’ve started a “rolling submission” of data from their studies of the two-dose vaccine, first giving the FDA data from laboratory and human testing.
This marks the first COVID-19 vaccine being reviewed for full approval in the U.S. Earlier this week, the FDA announced it is expected to authorize the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 12 through 15. According to the Associated Press, a federal official said the agency would likely expand the emergency use authorization early next week.
Canada approved the vaccine for that age group Wednesday, making it the first country to do so. Canadian health officials said this move will help “children return to a normal life.”
As these companies seek full approval, vaccine demand is decreasing nationwide. Here in Orange County, new vaccine sites that have opened across the county had 90% of its available doses unused Wednesday.
“All across the nation there is a slowdown of people getting vaccinated,” Mayor Jerry Demings said in response to the low numbers Thursday. “The remainder is going to be a challenge for us, and we as a community are going to have to encourage our friends and family to get vaccinated.”
Part of the challenge is vaccine hesitancy, which an epidemiologist with the Florida Department of Health in Orange County says is impacting young people who believe they’re less likely to be affected by the virus. The latest death in the county was an 18-year-old woman with underlying health conditions.
[READ YESTERDAY’S REPORT: As theme parks revise pandemic guidelines, Florida reports 4,623 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 May 7.
The Florida Department of Health reported 4,302 new cases on Friday, bringing the state’s overall total to 2,262,598 cases since the virus was first detected on March 1, 2020.
Florida reported 89 new virus-related deaths Friday, bringing the death toll to 36,346. This number included the 711 non-residents who died in Florida.
As of Friday afternoon, there were currently 2,851 people with the virus hospitalized in Florida, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration.
Since last March 2020, 91,848 people have been hospitalized in Florida after complications from COVID-19. That number includes the 196 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 4.7% Thursday out of 91,467 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 2020 on COVID-19 vaccines administered throughout the state.
FDOH reports 6,780,865 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 Friday, 9,149,171 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 Friday.
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