ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida’s positivity rate has dipped below 5% for the third day in a row, according to state COVID-19 data.
The last time the state’s positivity rate dropped below 5% was on March 11. The latest update from the state shows for the last three days of data, our positivity rate was at 4.98%, 4.69%, and 4.67%.
As more people worldwide get vaccinated, the European Union agreed to a contract extension for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for a potential 1.8 billion doses through 2023, according to the Associated Press.
Saturday’s announcement of the huge contract extension comes as the EU is looking for ways to meet the challenges of providing the necessary booster shots to people who have already receive a vaccine dose, expanding vaccination drives to include children and teenagers, and the emergence of possible new virus variants.
Here in Central Florida, state-run sites are operating in the region this weekend as vaccination efforts continue, offering individuals several opportunities to receive their vaccine. Along with these sites, more pharmacies are offering walk-in vaccinations. Publix is the latest chain to announce it will begin accepting walk-ins starting Monday.
Publix is offering Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccines, so vaccinations are only available to people 18 and older. The company still recommends scheduling a vaccination appointment “to ensure the preferred vaccine is available.”
In an exclusive interview with News 6, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said he hopes 70% of the county will have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by summer. Demings said those who are reluctant need to understand researchers are saying that to reach herd immunity, 70-80% of the population needs to be vaccinated. Herd immunity is when a certain percentage of the population is immune to COVID-19.
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.
[READ YESTERDAY’S REPORT: Florida sees 4,302 new COVID-19 cases as Pfizer seeks full FDA approval for vaccine]
Find the state-run COVID-19 dashboard below:
Below is a breakdown of Florida COVID-19 data reported by the state on May 8.
The Florida Department of Health reported 3,976 new cases on Saturday, bringing the state’s overall total to 2,266,575 cases since the virus was first detected on March 1, 2020.
Florida reported 66 new virus-related deaths Saturday, bringing the death toll to 36,412. This number included the 712 non-residents who died in Florida.
As of Saturday afternoon, there were currently 2,709 people with the virus hospitalized in Florida, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration.
Since last March 2020, 92,023 people have been hospitalized in Florida after complications from COVID-19. That number includes the 175 new patients who have been recently hospitalized due to the virus, according to the health department’s daily report released on Saturday.
The percent of positive results was 4.67% Friday out of 85,101 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 6,906,868 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 Saturday, 9,203,670 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 Saturday.
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