coronavirus pandemic

Florida Vaccine Updates: Patience Urged After Dosage Delays, Long Hauler Hopes for Benefit From Trial

Here's what we know today about the coronavirus outbreak in Florida, and the effort to stop it

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As a limited supply of the coronavirus vaccine has become available across Florida, residents are understandably anxious to know when they will be able to stand in line for a dose.

Weather across the country has caused delays in some doses getting to the Sunshine State - and those in charge are hoping residents waiting for the vaccine will have some patience while they wait.

Here's what we know today about the coronavirus outbreak in Florida, and the effort to stop it.

South Florida Couple Participates in COVID-19 Vaccine Trial

Not wanting to wait for a vaccine, a South Florida couple signed up for Johnson & Johnson’s Ensemble 2 trial – a study the drugmaker said on its website will include up to 30,000 participants worldwide and last about two years.

“One, it’s a chance I could get in early and be done with it,” Laura Matheric said. “But I also kind of looked at it as also my way to kind of help.”

More here.

Jackson Health Considering Opening Covid Vaccines to 55-65 Age Group

The head of Jackson Health System in Miami says the hospital group is looking at a plan to lower the age for those eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Jackson Health said they've already vaccinated 83,000 people and CEO Carlos Migoya is now in talks with the governor’s office about reducing the age limit for the vaccine to 55.

Florida Adds 5,117 New Covid Cases, Reports Over 160 More Virus Deaths Thursday

Florida reported more than 5,100 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, as the state's virus-related death toll increased by over 160 but infection rates remained steady.

The 5,117 new confirmed COVID-19 cases brought Florida's total to 1,849,744 since the outbreak began.

Another 163 virus-related deaths among Florida residents were reported Thursday, bringing the total to 29,474. An additional 516 non-resident deaths have been confirmed in the state to-date, an increase of three since Wednesday.

The positivity rate for new cases in the state was 6.40% in Thursday's department of health coronavirus report, the 10th day in a row it has been at or below 7%.

DeSantis Urges Patience After Weather Delays Deliveries of Covid Vaccine to Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis is urging Florida residents to be patient as bad winter weather in the U.S. is delaying shipments of COVID-19 vaccine doses to the state.

DeSantis spoke at a news conference Wednesday in Lakewood Ranch near Sarasota. The governor said Florida has received the "vast majority" of this week's shipment of the Pfizer vaccine doses, with about 136,000 arriving and around 9,000 still expected.

But DeSantis said the weather has delayed the delivery of the Moderna vaccine, which may not arrive until Thursday or Friday.

US Govt Seizes Over 10M Phony N95 Masks in COVID-19 Probe

Federal agents have seized more than 10 million fake 3M brand N95 masks in recent weeks, the result of an ongoing investigation into counterfeits sold in at least five states to hospitals, medical facilities and government agencies.

The most recent seizures occurred Wednesday when Homeland Security agents intercepted hundreds of thousands of counterfeit 3M masks in an East Coast warehouse that were set to be distributed, officials said.

Investigators also notified about 6,000 potential victims in at least 12 states including hospitals, medical facilities and others who may have unknowingly purchased knockoffs, urging them to stop using the medical-grade masks. Officials encouraged medical workers and companies to go to 3Ms website for tips on how to spot fakes.

COVID-19 Long Hauler Hopes to Benefit From Local FDA Trial Therapy

Eli Musser was planning his dream wedding to his fiance Megan Butler, but then he got COVID-19 last March.  

Musser is what some refer to as a COVID long hauler. Over the past 10 and a half months, the 42-year-old has had to put his entire life on hold due to severe and prolonged symptoms from the coronavirus. He postponed their wedding, and the musician and senior copywriter has been unable to work since April of last year. 

For more on Musser's fight for his health, click here for the story from NBC 6 reporter Amanda Plasencia.

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