ORLANDO, Fla. – U.S. regulators approved a new COVID-19 vaccine shot option for adults this week.
The Food and Drug Administration cleared Novavax shots, which makes a “more traditional type of shot” compared to the other vaccine options in the U.S., according to the Associated Press. This vaccine option has already been available in Europe and other countries.
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The FDA approved this vaccine for those 18 and older. Before shots begin, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must recommend how they should be used, a decision expected next week.
In addition to another potential vaccine option, the U.S. announced it will allow pharmacists to prescribe Pfizer’s COVID-19 pill directly to patients under a new policy. The FDA said pharmacists can begin screening patients to see if they are eligible for Paxlovid.
New COVID-19 cases are rising for the fifth week in a row, according to the World Health Organization, while the number of deaths is “relatively stable,” according to the Associated Press. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the pandemic still qualifies as a global emergency and he was “concerned” about the recent spike.
“The virus is running freely, and countries are not effectively managing the disease burden,” he said, according to the Associated Press. “New waves of the virus demonstrate again that COVID-19 is nowhere near over.”
The Biden administration this week started to call on people to exercise renewed caution about COVID-19 and pushing the importance of getting booster shots for those who are eligible.
“Currently, many Americans are under-vaccinated, meaning they are not up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC. “Staying up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines provides the best protection against severe outcomes.”
Due to COVID-19, the U.N. said about 25 million children worldwide missed out on routine immunizations against common diseases. The WHO and UNICEF said their figures show 25 million children last year failed to get vaccinated against diptheria, tetanus and pertussis, according to the Associated Press.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Below is a breakdown of Florida COVID-19 data reported by the CDC and the state on July 15:
The CDC reported 11,698 new cases on Friday, based on daily reporting it gets from the Florida Department of Health.
There were 78,245 new coronavirus cases over the last two weeks.
Florida has seen 6,640,046 cases since the virus was first detected on March 1, 2020.
The Florida Department of Health reported a cumulative death toll in Florida of 76,662. There were 771 fatalities recorded over the past two weeks, which we get by subtracting the number of deaths reported by DOH two weeks ago (75,891) from the current cumulative death toll.
The state stopped reporting the number of non-residents who died in Florida when the new weekly reporting method began.
The state Agency for Health Care Administration deleted its current COVID-19 hospitalization database and the state is no longer reporting how many patients have been hospitalized with the virus. However, Florida is still required to report that information to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the CDC continues to release that information online. The most recent hospital numbers show 4,023 adult and 73 pediatric patients in Florida.
The Florida Department of Health reported the percent of positive results from coronavirus tests was 21.2% for the weeks of July 1-14 but did not provide how many people were tested during the past two weeks. 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.
Below is the Central Florida region breakdown of new cases and new vaccination numbers between July 1-14.
|County||Total cases as of July 4||New cases since July 1||Total people vaccinated||Percent of 6 mo+ population vaccinated|