ORLANDO, Fla. – U.S. health advisers supported the use of the Pfizer vaccine in children as young as 12 on Wednesday following the Food and Drug Administration’s approval earlier this week, expanding emergency use.
This vaccine has been used on teens as young as 16 here in the U.S. and in other countries, with Canada being the first to expand its use to 12 and older.
The health advisers said during a committee meeting that the opportunity to vaccinate children will “let kids safely attend camps this summer and help assure a more normal return to classrooms next school year,” according to the Associated Press.
The major question advisers discussed was whether it was OK to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as other routine vaccinations, ultimately concluding the vaccine is safe enough to receive others needed. The vaccine doses, as well as the schedule, will be the same as adults who receive the vaccine.
Pharmacies and county sites in Florida started rolling out appointments for the new age group Wednesday evening. Most locations are offering the Pfizer vaccine, but there are some sites only offering Moderna or Johnson & Johnson that will not provide appointments to 12 and up since it is not approved for the age group.
Along with these locations, school districts in Central Florida are also working to provide vaccinations to students at the schools. 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.
[READ YESTERDAY’S REPORT: Florida sees 3,190 new COVID-19 cases as US prepares to begin first shots of Pfizer for children]
Find the state-run COVID-19 dashboard below:
Below is a breakdown of Florida COVID-19 data reported by the state on May 13.
The Florida Department of Health reported 4,053 new cases on Thursday, bringing the state’s overall total to 2,282,613 cases since the virus was first detected on March 1, 2020.
Florida reported 50 new virus-related deaths Thursday, bringing the death toll to 36,648. This number included the 719 non-residents who died in Florida.
As of Thursday afternoon, there were currently 2,684 people with the virus hospitalized in Florida, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration.
Since March 2020, 92,742 people have been hospitalized in Florida after complications from COVID-19. That number includes the 188 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 4.41% Wednesday out of 91,977 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 7,327,823 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, 9,436,587 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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