ORLANDO, Fla. – After the Pfizer vaccine was approved for expanded eligibility earlier this week, the United States is preparing to administer first doses to those as young as 12 as soon as Thursday.
U.S. health advisers endorsed use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine in kids as young as 12 on Wednesday, just as expected new guidelines say it’s OK for people of any age to get the shot at the same time as other needed vaccinations, the Associated Press reported.
The vaccine’s approval for children as young as 12 comes as the country looks ahead to a more normal school year for students this coming fall.
In Seminole County, many parents have contacted the county to get their child vaccinated with some trying to schedule appointments. Seminole County’s Emergency Manager Alan Harris said there are still preparations needed before administering the first doses, but the county is expecting to launch appointments Thursday or Friday for vaccinations next week.
Health officials in Orange County said the expanded eligibility helps move the country in the right direction toward normalcy. Orange County Public Schools is ready to cooperate to help vaccinate this new age group, according to the district’s spokesperson.
“We’re also poised and ready to work with the county and FDOH to do vaccination sites in other locations as they move down into the 12 and up range,” Scott Howat said.
Following the Food and Drug Administration’s approval for the younger age group, OCPS announced it would no longer offer the hybrid learning option that was created during the pandemic. This move leaves students two options for the upcoming school year: in-person learning or virtual school.
[READ YESTERDAY’S REPORT: Vaccine hesitancy remains strong as Florida reports 3,281 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 12.
The Florida Department of Health reported 3,190 new cases on Wednesday, bringing the state’s overall total to 2,278,549 cases since the virus was first detected on March 1, 2020.
Florida reported 51 new virus-related deaths Wednesday, bringing the death toll to 36,598. This number included the 716 non-residents who died in Florida.
As of Wednesday afternoon, there were currently 2,707 people with the virus hospitalized in Florida, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration.
Since March 2020, 92,554 people have been hospitalized in Florida after complications from COVID-19. That number includes the 206 new patients who have been recently hospitalized due to the virus, according to the health department’s daily report released on Wednesday.
The percent of positive results was 4.55% Tuesday out of 70,071 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 7,250,765 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 Wednesday, 9,397,252 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 Wednesday.
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