coronavirus pandemic

Florida Vaccine Updates: Nearly 500K in State Receive 1st Shot, Seniors Pack Vaccine Site

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.

Across Broward and Miami-Dade counties, sites are opening up for more residents to make appointments - but just as soon as they become available, spots are filled and plenty of residents are growing concerned about how the vaccine is being distributed.

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

Florida Expects to Receive 250K More Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine in Next Week

Florida is expecting to receive an additional 250,000 doses of coronavirus vaccines within the next week, state officials said Saturday.

The state has already received more than 1.2 million doses to date, the Florida Division of Emergency Management said.

Nearly 500,000 Have Received 1st Covid Vaccine Shot in Florida

About 478,000 people have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination since the state started administering the vaccine in mid-December, according to the latest vaccination report released by the state on Saturday. About 35,800 have received the second booster shot.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said the state is now averaging more than 40,000 vaccinations per day and hopes to increase that number as additional supply of the vaccine arrives in the state.

Florida Adds 15,445 New COVID-19 Cases, Reports 139 More Deaths Saturday

After two days of record-setting increases in new COVID-19 cases, Florida had a little over 15,400 infections on Saturday.

The 15,445 new confirmed COVID-19 cases brought Florida's total to 1,464,697 since the outbreak began, according to figures released by the state's department of health. The state set its single-day case record on Thursday when 19,816 cases were reported, with another 19,530 reported Friday.

Covid deaths are also showing an increase in the state, with another 138 virus-related deaths among Florida residents reported Saturday, bringing the total to 22,804. Another 346 non-resident deaths have been confirmed in the state to-date, one more than was reported on Friday. Most of the newly confirmed deaths occurred days or weeks earlier.

Traffic Causing Delays for Those Getting Vaccine at Tropical Park in Miami-Dade

Officials are advising those driving in the area near the Southwest Miami-Dade park to prepare for delays Saturday as vaccinations are taking place for those who have registered for an appointment.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue and Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said all people ages 65 and older with an appointment who are in line Saturday will receive their vaccine

Dept. of Health in Miami-Dade Says Covid Vaccine Appointments Quickly Fill Up

The Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County released a limited number of COVID-19 vaccine appointments Friday that filled up minutes after they were available.

The reservations, for seniors ages 65 and older by appointment only, were made available at 4 p.m. Friday through the county's scheduling tool. All slots were filled within about 30 minutes, officials said.

The vaccine being offered requires a second dose, and at the time of vaccination, individuals will receive information regarding the second dose.

Florida Adds Nearly 20,000 New COVID-19 Cases for Second Day in a Row Friday

A day after setting its single-day record for COVID-19 cases, Florida once again reported nearly 20,000 infections on Friday.

The 19,530 new confirmed COVID-19 cases brought Florida's total to 1,449,252 since the outbreak began, according to figures released by the state's department of health. The large number of cases fell just below the single-day case record, which was set Thursday when 19,816 cases were reported.

The positivity rate for new cases in the state was 11.46% in Friday's department of health report, a slight drop from Thursday's 11.60% rate.

Biden Plans to Release More Vaccine Doses in Break From Trump Admin. Policy

President-elect Joe Biden plans to release more doses of the COVID-19 vaccines once he takes office, breaking from the Trump administration's policy of holding reserve doses to ensure there's enough for second shots and to account for manufacturing issues.

The Pfizer vaccine requires two shots 21 days apart and the Moderna vaccine requires two shots 28 days apart. Officials from President Donald Trump's vaccine program Operation Warp Speed have withheld half of the available doses to ensure they can administer second doses in a timely fashion.

Some public health specialists have advocated for releasing all available doses, because there's some evidence of protection against COVID-19 after just the first dose and it's likely that manufacturers will be able to meet the demand for second doses.

NBC 6 Investigation: Florida Visitors Getting COVID-19 Vaccine

In a recent Instagram story, Argentinian television personality Yanina Latorre is seen celebrating that her mother was going to be able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine while on vacation in South Florida. 

She explained to her 1.5 million followers how a friend helped her mom – who meets the state’s 65 and older age requirement – make the appointment. The website for the Florida Department of Health does not list a residency requirement for the vaccine. But Miami Mayor Francis Suarez says residents should be the priority.

NBC 6 reached out to the state health department and the governor’s office but did not immediately receive a response. Earlier in the week, Gov. Ron DeSantis said he does not have an issue with seasonal residents getting vaccinated in Florida, but added he is discouraging tourists from doing the same.

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