INTERACTIVE MAP: COVID-19 vaccine sites in Central Florida
ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida is increasing its coronavirus vaccine distribution which began in the last week of 2020, as counties add more vaccine sites. In early January, Florida was vaccinating three priority groups: Health care workers, long-term care facility staff and residents and people 65 or older. The health care group includes people who work outside hospitals, including EMTs and paramedics as well as Florida Department of Health staff. Florida was allocated 1.15 million COVID-19 vaccine shots as of Jan. 6, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To best track vaccinations, News 6 made an interactive map of all the sites around Central Florida’s 10 county region.
Mobile COVID-19 vaccination sites coming to Engelwood, other underserved Orange County communities
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings and his team have identified underserved communities in the Orlando area that will be the first to benefit from new mobile COVID-19 vaccination units that FEMA is bringing to Central Florida. The two mobile units will operate in conjunction with the federal vaccination site opening at Valencia College’s West Campus starting Wednesday. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said he was glad to see that Engelwood residents will be among the first to benefit from FEMA’s new mobile sites. “On March the 7th, the state of Florida vaccine site will open at Shiloh Baptist Church, which is in Parramore. “With one dose, I think that’s, for many, that’s that’s exciting.
Epidemiologist explains how COVID-19 mutates and why ‘until everyone is protected, no one is’
ORLANDO, Fla. – Less than a week ago, Orange County confirmed the first residential case of the more viral COVID-19 U.K. variant, as of Monday that number is up to 10. Coronavirus is an RNA virus, which means COVID-19 is encoded in ribonucleic acid or RNA. When someone is infected with COVID-19 it creates 100 million copies of the virus RNA inside their body, Chu explained. U.K. variant. “Until everyone is protected, no one is protected because every infection allows for the genetic mutations to occur,” Chu said.
Orange County offering pre-registration for COVID-19 vaccine appointments
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County is allowing Florida residents to pre-register for coronavirus vaccine appointments online to allow for quicker sign up when shots are available. Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said the appointment portal for the Orange County Convention Center site will open again Friday (Jan. 29) at 8 a.m. with a number of new appointments for the shots but he encouraged anyone who is eligible to go ahead and register at OCFL.net/vaccines. Meanwhile, personnel at four community centers around Orange County are standing by to help residents who don’t have a computer and/or smart device and may need help signing up for a shot. Staff at Holden Heights, Pine Hills, East Orange and Taft community centers will be available Friday to help seniors register for the vaccine. So the number should be very close to a little bit over 8,000.”The county is providing vaccine updates via text if people text OCFLCOVID to 888777.
More COVID-19 vaccine appointments will soon be offered at Orange County Convention Center
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Now that COVID-19 vaccines have been offered in Orange County for a few weeks, health officials believe they’ll soon be ready to begin expanding their efforts. Pino and Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings didn’t offer further details about the location of that event or how to register. Pino is also waiting to provide an update on when residents can expect to see additional daily appointments open up at the convention center site. The convention center site is vaccinating about 1,500 people a day. Since March, Orange County has reported 89,539 COVID-19 cases, 2,072 hospitalizations and 823 deaths.
Volusia County activates call center for questions about vaccine availability
VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Inside Volusia County’s Emergency Operations Center, 15 socially distanced staff members pick up phones that won’t stop ringing as the county has activated its Citizens Information Center that usually is only in use for hurricanes. A: “The health department in Volusia County is waiting until the county receives vaccines in hand to announce events. We have had tens of thousands of individuals try to get registered today with just a small number of appointments open. For the latest information on COVID-19 vaccination events organized by the Volusia County and DOH-Volusia, you can check that website along with the Volusia County Emergency Management Facebook and Twitter pages. Individuals can also text “VolusiaReady” to 99411 to sign up for CodeRED to get updates on COVID-19 vaccinations in Volusia County.
Seminole County Public Schools to offer COVID-19 vaccine to elderly employees
Spencer Jensen, music teacher at the Legacy Preparatory Academy receives the COVID-19 vaccine at the Davis County Legacy Center Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, in Farmington, Utah. Utah began vaccinating teachers and school staff across the state. They are aiming to have all teachers and school staff vaccinated by the end of February. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – Seminole County Public Schools will offer coronavirus vaccine shots to its elderly employees during an event next week. [TRENDING: Mega Millions jackpot hits $750M | Fla. firefighter charged in Capitol riot | How to get vaccine in Fla. | Gun background checks skyrocket]The vaccine is free and optional.
Experts weigh in on why Latinos might be hesitant to receive COVID-19 vaccine
ORLANDO, Fla. – A survey conducted by the nonprofit COVID Collaborative indicated 34% of Latinos do not trust the vaccine and 40% are skeptical about its effectiveness. “Safety concerns like a lot of people have with any other vaccine. Like if it’s going to hurt, is it going to give me fever? The survey also showed Latinos would be less likely to get the vaccine if it were approved on an emergency-use basis without the usual review process by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Traditionally diseases that are controlled by vaccination, you need to vaccinate 90% plus of the population to get the infection under control,” Octaviani said.
Florida reports 12,000 new cases of COVID-19 as state continues to vaccinate seniors
Ron DeSantis visited a senior center in Bay County Sunday morning to provide an update on the state’s vaccine rollout plan. [Register for the COVID-19 vaccine in Florida here]But Seminole County Emergency manager told News 6′s Justin Warmoth during The Weekly there is still a long way to go. “So clearly not even a dent, not even 10% of what we really need.”Across the state DeSantis said the demand for vaccines is outweighing the supply. HospitalizationsAs of Sunday, there were currently 7,497 people with the virus hospitalized in Florida, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration. VaccinationsThe Florida Department of Health recently began releasing a daily report on COVID-19 vaccines administered throughout the state.
Florida reports 15,000 new cases of COVID-19, 139 deaths
[Register for the COVID-19 vaccine in Florida here][READ YESTERDAY’S REPORT: Florida reports over 19,000 new coronavirus cases as state awaits more vaccines]Below is a breakdown of Florida COVID-19 data reported by the state on Jan. 9:CasesThe Florida Department of Health reported 15,445 new cases on Saturday, bringing the state’s overall total to 1,464,697 cases since March. This means at least 23,150 people have died in relation to the coronavirus across the state, including 346 non-residents who died in Florida. HospitalizationsAs of Saturday, there were currently 7,436 people with the virus hospitalized in Florida, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration. Since March, 65,401 people have been hospitalized in Florida after complications from the coronavirus. VaccinationsThe Florida Department of Health recently began releasing a daily report on COVID-19 vaccines administered throughout the state.
Florida’s COVID-19 death toll surpasses 23,000 as state continues to report high infection rate
ORLANDO, Fla. – As cases, deaths and hospitalizations continue to climb Floridians are eager to receive a vaccine as soon as possible. “Health First is honored to be able to continue to protect our community from COVID-19,” Health First Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Jeffrey Stalnaker said. The vaccines come after Florida reported its highest total of new cases for 2020 on Thursday with close to 20,000 new cases. [Register for the COVID-19 vaccine in Florida here]Both Orange and Marion counties reported single-day records when it comes to positive coronavirus cases. VaccinationsThe Florida Department of Health recently began releasing a daily report on COVID-19 vaccines administered throughout the state.
Orlando VA to host COVID-19 vaccine event for veterans 75 and older
(Thomas Samson/Pool Photo via AP)ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Lake Nona will host a COVID-19 vaccination clinic on Saturday for veterans 75 and older who receive care at the VA. The event is open to veterans 75 years and older who receive care from the VA and have not received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine. The vaccine clinic will be on the fourth floor auditorium. Veterans also must be able to return to the Orlando VA for a second dose in 21 days. According to a news release, the Orlando VA Medical Center will notify additional groups of veterans about vaccine events as more supplies arrive.
Joe Biden to speed release of coronavirus vaccines
Instead, it would accelerate shipment of first doses and use the levers of government power to provide required second doses in a timely manner. It's seen as a prudent approach, since both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines require a second shot after the first vaccination. Of 21.4 million doses distributed, about 5.9 million have been administered, or just under 28%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Biden announced his plan after eight Democratic governors wrote the Trump administration on Friday urging it to do as much. ___This story has been corrected to show that 21.4 million doses of vaccine have been distributed, not 29.4 million.
Polk County opens COVID-19 vaccine appointment hotline for seniors
AP Illustration/Peter HamlinPOLK COUNTY, Fla. – The Polk County Department of Health will open a phoneline Friday to begin making vaccine appointments for people 65 and older. The health care group includes EMTs and paramedics as well as Department of Health staff. To make an appointment in Polk County, call 863-298-7500 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. “Polk County’s Board of County Commissioners has partnered with the Florida Department of Health to help facilitate and expedite the vaccinations in our county,” Polk County Commission Chairman Rick Wilson said in a statement. Polk County received its first doses of the shots on Dec. 28 and has given out more than 5,400.
Coronavirus vaccine site coming to Orlando International Airport for 65 and older
ORLANDO, Fla. – AdventHealth announced Thursday the healthcare system will be rolling out a community vaccination program starting at the Orlando International Airport. The first pop-up site will be located at Orlando International Airport. Beginning Tuesday, officials said the site will be for AdventHealth employee’s families who are 65 and older, and AdventHealth medical group patients that are 65 and older. AdventHealth said the pop-up site at OIA will be a drive-up location, with parking available. OIA officials said that discussions continue with AdventHealth and health officials.
Florida reports over 19,000 new coronavirus cases as state awaits more vaccines
Counties in Central Florida quickly ran out of the COVID-19 vaccine this past week due to high demand. ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida saw it’s highest recorded amount of new cases for 2021 Thursday after the Florida Department of Health reported nearly 20,000 new cases of COVID-19. READ MORE: Select Publix pharmacy locations will offer coronavirus vaccine shots in FloridaDeSantis held multiple news conferences Thursday and said more vaccines are on the way. [READ YESTERDAY’S REPORT: Florida reports 17,000 new coronavirus cases, 130 new deaths]Below is a breakdown of Florida COVID-19 data reported by the state on Jan. 7:CasesThe Florida Department of Health reported 19,473 new cases on Thursday, bringing the state’s overall total to 1,429,722 cases since March. VaccinationsThe Florida Department of Health recently began releasing a daily report on COVID-19 vaccines administered throughout the state.
Volusia opens second vaccine site by appointment only after lessons learned from first event
DELTONA, Fla. – Lines were moving quickly Thursday morning as Volusia County began its first appointment-only vaccination event for people 65 and older. The two-day distribution was scheduled from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Dewey O. Boster Park. “We did see all those registrations fill up very quickly and so far, today, this system has worked very well,” Volusia County Spokeswoman Kate Sark said. The event came after hundreds of seniors waited for several hours at the county’s first-come, first-serve vaccine distribution in Daytona Beach on Monday and Tuesday. For additional details about Volusia County vaccination events, visit volusia.org/coronavirus.
Florida reports 17,000 new coronavirus cases, 130 new deaths
In Central Florida, Lake County officials gave less than 20 minutes notice before they started immunizing residents and non residents with the COVID-19 vaccine. An hour later, Lake County Department of Health officials said the vaccine site at the Clermont Arts & Recreation Center had already reached capacity. This means at least 22,647 people have died in relation to the coronavirus across the state, including 330 non-residents who died in Florida. [RELATED: By the numbers: Florida COVID-19 deaths by age]HospitalizationsAs of Wednesday afternoon, there were currently 7,303 people with the virus hospitalized in Florida, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration. 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.
Second round of Seminole vaccine appointments booked within minutes
SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – Seminole County received 12,000 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine this week in a second shipment but it’s unclear if more doses will be arriving consistently. Residents can text COVID19INFO to 888-777 to receive notifications when the vaccine becomes available to more groups and/or when more appointments are available. Harris added that starting Tuesday, Seminole County is distributing the vaccine to those 65 and older, using mobile units that will go into different communities. Additionally, the state is working on a centralized website that will handle vaccine reservations for all of the counties, according to Harris. He said there is a private company piloting software and testing it out on people as they wait in line for their vaccine appointments at the Oviedo Mall where the Seminole County vaccine site is located.
Orlando Health to expand vaccination program starting Monday
Beginning at 6 a.m. Monday, Orlando Health vaccination events will be open to:All frontline healthcare professionals not affiliated with Orlando Health (including dental staffs and EMS). Orlando Health team members, medical staff family members and loved ones who are age 65 or older. Orlando Health team members and medical staff members who have not yet received the first dose of the vaccine. Appointments became available beginning Jan. 4 at these Orlando Health facilities:Orlando Health Dr. P. Phillips Hospital. Orlando Health - Health Central Hospital.
Florida reports nearly 15,200 new infections as vaccine roll out continues slow progress
Dr. Norman G. Einspruch, 88, receives the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Jackson Memorial Hospital, Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020, in Miami. As vaccine efforts are off to a slow start, Florida continues to see a positivity rate above 10% as the state tracks a rise in infections, reporting nearly 15,200 new COVID-19 infections on Tuesday. Lake and Marion counties saw registration slots quickly fill up as health officials prepared to distribute the first doses of a coronavirus vaccine to the priority group. If approved, it would be the first coronavirus vaccine that could provide protection from the virus with one shot, instead of two like Pfizer and Moderna. VaccinationsThe Florida Department of Health recently began releasing a daily report on COVID-19 vaccines administered throughout the state.
Marion County suspends vaccine appointment registration with 50,000 requests
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)MARION COUNTY, Fla. – The Department of Health in Marion County is set to begin providing people 65 and older with their first doses of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine on Tuesday after more than 50,000 people requested appointments for shots. The county opened registration for appointments on Dec. 28 but after receiving more than 50,000 requests, closed its application portal. After the call back and screening process, they should receive a vaccine appointment. Staff will call to schedule a vaccination appointment as vaccine becomes available. The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is a two-shot series, with the second shot being provided 28 days after the first shot.
First round of Flagler County COVID-19 vaccine appointments quickly fill up
Flagler County vaccinates health care workers who were told they can’t get the COVID-19 vaccine (Photo: Homer Salcedo/WKMG)FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health in Flagler County received its first round of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in the last days of 2020 and opened up appointments to people 65 and older Monday, which quickly filled up. The health department is working with Flagler County Emergency Management to distribute shots to the community. The website for vaccine appointments opened at 1 p.m. and all appointments were booked 10 minutes later, according to the DOH. Flagler County residents 65 and older were able to make appointments to be vaccinated starting Monday but the first round of appointments filled up within 10 minutes, according to the county DOH. Vaccinations will take place at the Flagler County Fairgrounds at 150 Sawgrass Road in Bunnell.
Gov. DeSantis to hospitals: Use the COVID vaccine shots or lose them
Ron DeSantis warned hospitals against stockpiling vaccinations and urged them to work more quickly to administer vaccines to Floridians who are 65 and older. Meanwhile, the first five Florida hospitals to start inoculating their frontline workers three weeks ago began administering booster shots this week to those same employees. DeSantis has ordered hospitals to inform state officials how they plan to offer vaccinations to the public. Mary Mayhew, chief executive officer of the Florida Hospital Association, said the state’s hospitals were “working tirelessly” to serve the community and roll out the vaccinations. “With this flawed vaccine rollout, Governor DeSantis has once again failed to rise to the occasion,” said Florida Democratic Party Chair Terrie Rizzo.
Florida’s positivity rate remains above 10% as state ramps up COVID-19 vaccination efforts
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 4.2 million people across the U.S. have received their first shot of either the Moderna or Pfzier COVID-19 vaccines. Ron DeSantis announced plans to start ramping up coronavirus vaccines around the state by utilizing current state-run testing sites and relying on hospitals, as well as community churches, for wider distribution. This means at least 22,415 people have died in relation to the coronavirus across the state, including 325 non-residents who died in Florida. HospitalizationsAs of Monday afternoon, there are currently 7,237 people with the virus hospitalized in Florida, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration. VaccinationsThe Florida Department of Health recently began releasing a daily report on COVID-19 vaccines administered throughout the state.
Volusia announces first vaccine event for people over 65
A container of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is seen at the United Memorial Medical Center on December 21, 2020 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Go Nakamura/Getty Images)VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Volusia County will begin inoculating people 65 and older on Jan. 4 at a drive-thru vaccination event, with more dates to come. [TRENDING: How to get vaccine in Florida | Will vaccine work on new strains? People who have had COVID-19 in the past two weeks or had a COVID-19 vaccine shot in the past two weeks will not be eligible to receive a vaccine at this event. Only the Moderna vaccine, which requires a second dose 28 days after the first shot, will be provided at this initial community vaccination event.
How to navigate the Orange County Convention Center vaccine site
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The Orange County Convention Center which has offered coronavirus testing to tens of thousands of people for months is now also providing the county’s first large-scale vaccine site, causing confusion for some who arrive seeking either tests or the shots. To help you navigate the testing site News 6 drove the route to the convention center and created a detailed map. Before heading to the convention center for the COVID-19 vaccine there are several things people must do. Orange County Department of Health spokesperson Kent Donahue said the goal is to get the wait time down to under an hour. Direction to the vaccine site lineOnce arriving in the area of the convention center you will follow signs leading along the route to the North Concourse for vaccines.
Sumter offering ‘small’ number of vaccine appointments, planning larger vaccine event
SUMTER COUNTY, Fla. – Sumter County Health Department officials said Wednesday they are accepting a small number of appointments for people 65 and older but will plan a “mass vaccination” event at a later date when more COVID-19 vaccine doses are available. The county received 2,500 doses of the Moderna vaccine the week of Dec. 30. Those doses will first go to medical workers who will inoculate the rest of the community and those caring for COVID-19 patients, according to the health department. | Fla. child porn suspect had hidden bunker]Starting Jan. 4, the Sumter County Health Department will offer a “small block of appointments” at the Bushnell office to vaccinate people 65 and older. The county is planning a “mass vaccination event” at a future date but could not provide details.
Lake County announces first vaccinations for people over 65
Registered nurse Cynthia Banada holds a vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at Miami Jewish Health, a senior healthcare facility, Monday, Dec. 28, 2020, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)LAKE COUNTY, Fla. – Lake County will begin vaccinating people over 65 at two locations beginning Wednesday, with plans for more dates in the near future. During this first phase, Lake County will vaccinate the following populations: long-term care facility residents and staff; persons 65 years of age and older; and health care personnel with direct patient contact. The vaccine sites will be at Cooper Memorial Library and Lake Sumter College. Please bring identification and, if you are a health care worker, a copy of your medical license, ID badge or a current paystub.
Orange County rolls out plan to vaccinate 65+ residents at Convention Center
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County leaders revealed the plan to vaccinate older residents and keep the community informed on broader COVID-19 vaccination plans that include a website, app, text, email and community centers. The Orange County Department of Health began administering shots to EMTs and paramedics at the Orange County Convention Center on Saturday. Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said beginning Tuesday, people 65 and older can begin getting their vaccines at the Orange County Convention Center between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. Appointments will be required and the site is open to anyone, not just Orange County residents, according to county officials. “Wear your mask, help stop spread.”The goal is to vaccinate 1,500 residents per day at the Orange County Convention Center.
Brevard to host drive-thru vaccination event for 65+ residents
BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Brevard County will begin vaccinating people 65 and older on Jan. 4 at a drive-thru site in Viera but residents must have appointments. The county has been inoculating frontline health care workers and long-term care facilities and will expand to people over 65 beginning Monday. [TRENDING: How to get vaccine in Florida | Will vaccine work on new strains? Appointments must now be made online, however, appointments previously made by phone will still be honored. The vaccine site will be a drive-thru located at 2555 Judge Fran Jamieson Way in Viera.
Health First workers’ spouses vaccinated ahead of general public, sparking anger for some
Health First said when it became clear that he supplies would be available after vaccinating healthcare workers, the health system expanded its offerings, it stated. But the news that Health First spouses were even in line to get the vaccine ahead of other health care professionals was enough to produce anger from some in the medical community. Several health care workers who asked to remain anonymous emailed FLORIDA TODAY to express their frustration. It’s not known whether the vaccine will halt transmission, meaning vaccinated health workers may still be capable of passing the virus onto those around them. Along with the push to vaccinate health workers, Florida has already been vaccinating residents of long-term care facilities.
Seminole County leaders say they’re ready for increased vaccination demand
Seminole County emergency leaders said they’re already booked for this week as far as appointments to give out COVID-19 vaccinations. Seminole is one of a few counties statewide to begin vaccinating residents 65 and older, outside of long term care facilities. TAKE PKGAlan Harris/Seminole County Emergency Manager7:29-7:32“We will be doing up to 700 a day,” said Alan Harris, Seminole County Emergency Manager. “So we have to have the exact amount of doses each day.”He said they’re asking the state for even more doses to expand. Meantime, Jeff Wray told News 6 last week that he’s scheduled to get the vaccine come Wednesday.
Residents over 65 will get COVID-19 vaccine next under Florida governor’s executive order
Nursing home residents and health care workers in Florida began receiving the Pfizer vaccine this week. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order Wednesday making it official that the next group of people in Florida to get the COVID-19 vaccine will be the state’s more than 4 million residents over 65 years old. Earlier in the week, DeSantis said he planned to prioritize the state’s older residents before essential workers such as firefighters, teachers and grocery store workers. “We don’t have enough vaccine to do everyone 65 and older in Florida at this moment. DeSantis told Florida residents over 65 they would have the opportunity to sign up for vaccines “in very short order” but did not offer information on how they would do that.
Who will be next to receive COVID-19 vaccine in Florida?
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya, Pool)ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Following frontline workers and long-term care facilities, which groups will be next to receive available coronavirus vaccines will vary from state to state but in Florida, Gov. DeSantis plans to release new details Tuesday on the state’s second phase of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan. Florida is just completing its first week with the Pfzier vaccine and Moderna’s newly approved shots are also on the way. DeSantis said Florida is expected to receive 61,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine Monday and more than 300,000 doses Tuesday. Florida is also expecting about 12,000 Pfizer vaccine doses to arrive within 48 hours, according to the governor.
CVS, Walgreens get to work delivering COVID-19 vaccines at long-term care facilities in Florida
“CVS Health expects to complete its long-term care facility vaccination effort in approximately 12 weeks. Ron DeSantis said in a tweet Walgreens began inoculating staff and residents at Jacksonville long-term care facilities on Dec. 18, ahead of schedule. This week, Walgreens will ramp up visits to 800 long-term care facilities in 12 states. Orange County has more than 9,000 individuals and employees in long-term care facilities. Some include memory care facilities with individuals suffering from dementia.
Leaders prepare for mass COVID-19 vaccination sites as first doses are distributed
ORLANDO, Fla. – For the first time, Orlando Health clinicians and non-clinicians at risk received the COVID-19 vaccine, while AdventHealth continued vaccinating frontline health workers on Friday. In Volusia County, leaders are preparing for large-scale vaccination clinics once a vaccine is ready for mass distribution. “This may be in large venues such as the Daytona International Speedway,” Dr. Peter Springer, Volusia County Operational Medical Director, said. “The COVID-19 vaccine is crucial to preventing further spread from the virus but we need to take an effective fact-based approach to stop the spread.”For Gomez, that means continuing precautions this holiday season. “Keep in mind the virus is still out there and when you get a chance, get your vaccine.”
Can your employer make you get the COVID-19 vaccine?
This week the first Floridians outside of a clinical trial got the COVID-19 vaccine including employees at AdventHealth. As the vaccine continues being rolled out, employers are prioritizing which employees will get it first but can your employer require you to get the vaccine? “The leadership team has certainly discussed how we would provide vaccines to the employees,” Harris said. Can your employer require you to get the vaccine? Any employer considering making the vaccine mandatory should be prepared to make accommodations, like for someone who has a medical reason not to get vaccinated.
Mass vaccination facilities across Florida are coming
In an exclusive interview with News 6, Florida Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz said the general public will likely gain access to the coronavirus vaccine in early spring. “These facilities where these folks who live have to deal with this on a day-to-day basis, this is not the first medicine that these folks are getting. “There could be a bunch of different ways, we’ll analyze which approach the state will take,” Moskowitz said. Just like we have testing facilities, there will be mass-vaccination facilities.”Moskowitz expects the Moderna vaccine will be approved by the end of the week and start arriving in Florida as soon as Monday. [RELATED: Here’s when the general Florida population could receive a COVID-19 vaccine]He said doses of the vaccine are allocated weekly to all states.
Residents at Florida long-term care facilities could soon receive COVID-19 vaccine
We’ve got thousands of facilities in Florida, it’s not as easy as it would be in some smaller state,” DeSantis said. The state is also expected to receive an additional 20,000 doses to help with vaccination efforts in long-term care facilities. [RELATED: Getting consent for long-term care facility patients will slow COVID-19 vaccine distribution]Once those two target populations receive their first doses, the state will then shift to focusing on elderly residents who are not in long-term care facilities but who could still develop a severe COVID-19 infection. DeSantis thinks it won’t be until about February before the vaccine is available to the general public, although that depends on when the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is approved. “The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, unlike the Pfizer and Moderna, it’s only one dose... the Johnson & Johnson is just normal refrigeration and you take it one time.
Getting consent for long-term care facility patients will slow COVID-19 vaccine distribution
Orange County has more than 9,000 individuals and employees in long-term care facilities. Some include memory care facilities with individuals sufferings from dementia. “Before we administered the vaccine, we have to have consent from each of the individuals,” Pino said. He said the local DOH is ready and willing to start inoculating patients at long-term care facilities but has not been tapped by the state to start just yet. Orange County’s health department applied to be part of a pilot program to inoculate long-term care residents.
COVID-19 case increase tied to Thanksgiving but --so far-- not in long-term care facilities in Orange County
Last week, Orange County experienced a 17% increase in new cases, according to Dr. Raul Pino, with the Florida Department of Health- Orange County. He said 29 additional deaths were recently reassigned to Orange County. Orange County also reassigned some deaths to Seminole County, explaining another change. There are about 1,000 empty beds in Orange County as of Thursday night. Orange County Public Safety Director Danny Banks said the county is ready to administer the shots as soon as they arrive.
Allergist still recommends taking Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine even with allergies but with surveillance
Arias, who is also a UCF Professor of Medicine, helped break down what the new Pfizer vaccine could mean for patients if the FDA approves an emergency use authorization for the Pfizer vaccine Thursday. “It’s common with any vaccine,” Dr. Arias said. “With the new vaccine, I would recommend it to my patients,” Dr. Arias said. I will list the vaccine is preservative free and make them wait in my office.”When asked if he still trusts the Pfizer vaccine. “I do, I mean this is a normal reaction,” Dr. Arias said.