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.
One of the FEMA sites in South Florida attempted to calm down potential chaos over false rumors over who was eligible to get their doses of the vaccine this past weekend.
More Vaccine News
Here's what we know today about the coronavirus outbreak in Florida, and the effort to stop it.
Federal Direction Requires Prioritization of All K-12, Child Care Teachers, Personnel for COVID Vaccine
At the direction of the federal government, any retailers participating in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program are required to prioritize all K-12, child care teachers and personnel for vaccine appointments until further notice.
Among those elegible are:
- Teachers, school staff and child care workers who work in pre-primary, primary and secondary schools, as well as Head Start and Early Head Start programs. This includes teachers, staff and bus drivers.
- Those who work as or for licensed child care providers, including center-based and family care providers.
Publix is set to follow this new directive during its next available COVID‑19 vaccine scheduling opportunity on Wednesday, March 10th.
New CDC Guidelines: Fully Vaccinated Americans Can Gather Without Masks
Fully-vaccinated Americans can gather with other vaccinated people indoors without wearing a mask or social distancing, according to long-awaited guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The recommendations from federal health officials also say that vaccinated people can come together in the same way with people considered at low-risk for severe disease, such as in the case of vaccinated grandparents visiting healthy children and grandchildren.
The guidance announced Monday is aimed at addressing a growing demand, as more adults have been getting vaccinated and wondering if it gives them greater freedom to visit family members, travel, or do other things like they did before the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world last year.
Florida City Vaccine Site Overrun After False Rumors Said All Could Come
A Miami-Dade vaccination site had so few eligible takers Saturday that it started inoculating any adult who wanted a shot rather than let the vaccine on hand go to waste.
Word spread and on Sunday the Florida City site was overwhelmed, particularly after local state Sen. Annette Taddeo incorrectly tweeted that the federally run site would again take all comers. The Democrat, who was the party's lieutenant governor candidate in 2014, later deleted that tweet and corrected herself.
Police had to calm the crowd Sunday when the site again enforced the state's eligibility rules: 65 and older; frontline medical workers and police officers, teachers and firefighters over 50; and younger people with a physician's note saying they would be endangered if they caught the virus.
Workers Worry About Safety, Stress as States Ease Mask Rules
As more jurisdictions join Texas, Mississippi and other states in lifting mask mandates and easing restrictions on businesses, many essential workers — including bartenders, restaurant servers and retail workers — are relieved by changes that might help the economy but also concerned they could make them less safe amid a pandemic that health experts warn is far from over.
Many business owners on the Mississippi Gulf Coast were glad Gov. Tate Reeves decided to eliminate mask requirements, limits on seating in restaurants and most other binding restrictions.
Public health experts tracking the trajectory of more contagious virus variants have warned that lifting restrictions too soon could lead to another lethal wave of infections. Although vaccination drives are accelerating as drug manufacturers ramp up production, many essential workers are not yet eligible for COVID-19 vaccines in Mississippi and other states.