coronavirus pandemic

Florida Vaccine Updates: State Getting More Doses for Residents; FIU Trains COVID-Sniffing Dogs

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.

A new option was launched in one South Florida county to allow senior citizens to make their appointments - while Florida's Governor is responding to comments made by the White House regarding how the state is handling their dosage distribution.

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

Miami-Dade County to Receive 2,700 Doses From State; Miami Paramedics Inoculate 100 Seniors in Liberty City

After being shut out by the state, Miami-Dade County is set to receive 2,700 new doses, a move that allows them to resume vaccinations at Tropical Park, Zoo Miami and a new site at Miami-Dade College’s North Campus.

The county decided to open a site in the north end of the county to address low vaccination rates among African Americans.

Health experts say vaccine skepticism, the lack of access to computers to make an appointment, and a car to drive to vaccines sites like Marlins Park, is fueling the divide. 

In Liberty City, a team of paramedics with Miami Fire Rescue paid a visit Wednesday to a senior living community made up mostly of Black residents. They inoculated about 100 seniors, and are to set to visit two other communities later this week.

FIU Training Dogs to Sniff Out COVID-19

Florida International University will start training dogs to detect COVID-19.

NBC 6 anchor Sheli Muñiz spoke to FIU's Provost and Executive Vice President Kenneth Furton about the new task force Wednesday. Watch the full interview here.

Florida Adds 8,400 New COVID-19 Cases, Reports 169 More Virus Deaths Wednesday

Florida added more than 8,400 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, as the state's virus-related death toll increased by over 160.

The 8,408 new confirmed COVID-19 cases brought Florida's total to 1,676,171 since the outbreak began, according to figures released by the state's department of health. It marked the fourth straight day the state has reported fewer than 10,000 new cases.

Florida to Receive 307,000 First-Dose Vaccines Next Week

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced in a tweet late Tuesday that Florida will be receiving 307,000 first doses from the federal government next week.

DeSantis says the state's priority is work on vaccinating those 65 and older.

Miami-Dade County Launches Phone Option for COVID-19 Vaccine Appointments

Miami-Dade County launched a new phone number for making COVID-19 vaccine appointments Tuesday and released a limited number of appointments.

The phone number - 305-614-2014 - began accepting appointments at 2 p.m. Appointments can also be made at The new number was set up to make it easier for vaccines to be distributed more efficiently to seniors 65 and older, county officials said.

The county is also opening a new vaccine distribution site at Miami Dade College North Campus this week, and will reopen the vaccination site located at Zoo Miami. All county vaccination sites are by appointment only.

DeSantis Clashes With White House Over Florida's COVID Vaccine Supply

The effort to get more COVID-19 vaccines in Florida has DeSantis clashing with President Joe Biden's White House over the number of doses the state is receiving and how they're being administered.

DeSantis has said the flow of vaccines from the federal government has been stagnant and the state needs more to meet the increasing demand from residents. He said the state has been receiving about 266,000 doses per week but has the capacity to administer more.

At a White House briefing Monday, press secretary Jen Psaki pushed back against DeSantis' comments criticizing the federal government, saying Florida has only administered about half of the vaccines it has been given.

New COVID-19 Vaccine Site Opens at Fort Lauderdale's Snyder Park

Fort Lauderdale's newest COVID-19 vaccination site opened at Snyder Park Tuesday, where officials believe they'll be able to administer more vaccines than the park it's replacing.

The Snyder Park site is replacing Holiday Park, which closed over the weekend.

Mayor Dean Trantalis said about 11,000 vaccinations were given at Holiday Park, but said Snyder Park is a larger site with better traffic flow and can be expanded as supply increases.

‘Paramedic of the Year' Arrested for Theft of COVID Vaccines in Florida

A former "Paramedic of the Year" in Florida is facing charges after authorities say he helped a supervisor steal doses of the COVID-19 vaccine that were meant for firefighters.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd held a news conference Tuesday to announce the arrest of 31-year-old Joshua Colon. Judd said Colon had been given three vials of the Moderna vaccine containing 10 doses each to administer to other first responders.

Colon later falsified paperwork and created fake names and even email addresses of firefighters who he claimed he had given the vaccine, Judd said.

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