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 program was recently launched across the state in an effort to help with the registration process for the vaccine while some local hotels in South Florida will begin offering testing to those coming to the area looking for some fun in the sun.
More Vaccine News
Here's what we know today about the coronavirus outbreak in Florida, and the effort to stop it.
Miami-Dade County Begins Scheduling Appointments for Vaccinated Seniors to Receive Second Shots
Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava delivered an update on the county's vaccination program Saturday, noting that officials have begun scheduling appointments for seniors to get their booster shot.
"Everyone who received a vaccine from a Miami-Dade County site will be contacted to scheduled their second dose directly by email or text," the mayor said in a press release.
"We are working hard to get shots in arms as fast as possible, including reaching out directly to everyone who received their first vaccine from the county to get their second shot and complete the vaccination process."
Those who can not be contacted by email will be reached by phone, the press release said. The CDC card that patients received at their initial appointment contains the date of when the second shot should be scheduled.
Florida Launches Statewide Preregistration System for COVID Vaccine Appointments
Florida has launched a statewide preregistration system to help frontline health workers and seniors schedule COVID-19 vaccination appointments.
The system allows people to pre-register to receive the vaccine and be notified when appointments are available at state-supported vaccination sites. The website to preregister is myvaccine.fl.gov.
On the site, residents can select their county and submit their contact information. Once appointments are available, individuals will be contacted by phone call, text or email and will be assisted in scheduling an appointment.
As Virus Mutates, Promising Vaccine Races Against Time
As vaccine supplies remain low, Johnson & Johnson Friday announced a new candidate is showing promising results and the single-dose shot could be in arms by the end of next month, if approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Johnson & Johnson reported its vaccine is 72% effective in the U.S. in preventing moderate to severe COVID. That drops to 66% overall because it was only 57% effective among trial participants in South Africa, where the troublesome mutant is prevalent.
Leading infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said vaccine manufacturers will need to be nimble in adjusting their products as new strains arise, as they inevitably will if the virus continues to spread.
‘You Wouldn't Know There Was a Pandemic': People Seen Without Masks, Not Following COVID-19 Guidelines in Miami-Dade
With spring break just a few months away, a local commissioner and other residents are worried that some South Florida businesses and customers are not following proper COVID-19 safety protocols.
NBC 6 has received complaints saying that people are not wearing face masks or social distancing at restaurants in Surfside and Wynwood, despite a mask mandate issued by Miami-Dade County.
From December 8th to January 24th, the Surfside Police Department said it had 25,000 verbal mask warnings on record and have also handed out 175 masks.
Local Hotels to Offer COVID-19 Testing for Guests, Employees
There’s an extra level of comfort being offered for travelers in South Florida.
After the CDC implemented a new requirement to test negative for COVID-19 before entering the U.S., some South Florida hotels are offering testing as well.
When making a reservation at SLS South Beach, future guests will get the option to take a COVID-19 test at the property. Marco Selva, the Area Vice President for SLS Brickell, told NBC 6 the hotel’s parent company wants to be proactive and offer more testing during a person’s stay. For them, on-site PCR or rapid antigen tests are available. Employees can get tested every day.