Five Florida hospitals will be the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in the state

The number of cases, although lower than the nearly 7,000 reported on Friday, was affected by the closures of several test sites due to flooding and winds from Tropical Storm Eta, which made landfall twice in this state. EFE / EPA / CRISTOBAL HERRERA-ULASHKEVICH / Archive

With great prospects for an early approval by the Food and Drug Administration of at least two COVID 10 vaccines – Pfizer’s and Moderna’s– It is already known which will be the first hospitals to receive the vaccines.

In South Florida, Jackson Memorial Hospital in the city of Miami (the largest public hospital in the area) and Memorial Regional Hospital in neighboring Broward County will receive part of the first batch. Towards the center of the state, the Advent Health Hospital, of the city of Orlando, and the Tampa General Hospital will receive their departure. In the north, the first doses will be received by UF Health Hospital in Jacksonville.

The hospitals were chosen by the state health authorities because of the population density in the areas where they are located and because of the low-temperature storage capacity of the vaccine. Most likely, the first approved vaccine will be Pfizer’s, which requires two doses that must be stored at minus 70 degrees Celsius, a temperature that can only be achieved in special freezers. The laboratory announced that they will take charge of the national distribution of the doses, but once they reach the hospitals they must try to keep them in the necessary conditions.

As soon as it is available, the United States will receive 40 million doses of the vaccine that is expected to be ready in December. According to data released by the state governor’s office, Ron DeSantis, Florida would receive 2 million vaccines, which as they should be applied in two doses would serve one million residents chosen for working in the health field or belonging to one of the risk communities that will have priority.

Florida has been preparing for an eventual vaccine for months. During the summer, the state purchased five million syringes and needles to distribute in its hospitals, and began an audit of health centers to determine beforehand which ones were eligible to become vaccinated.

A volunteer is injected with a vaccine while participating in a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination study at the Research Centers of America, in Hollywood, Florida, USA, on September 24, 2020. REUTERS / Marco Bello
A volunteer is injected with a vaccine while participating in a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination study at the Research Centers of America, in Hollywood, Florida, USA, on September 24, 2020. REUTERS / Marco Bello

The country has already exceeded 250,000 deaths as a result of the coronavirus, and the situation today is at its worst. The last week saw a 25 percent increase in infections and hospitalizations, with alarming figures in 47 of the 50 states.

Florida is no exception. The state confirmed today another 7,925 new cases in the last 24 hours, with a total of 905,248 confirmed cases, making it the third most affected state in the country (it should also be noted that it is the third most populated state in the nation). The number of deaths from COVID 19 so far in Florida amounts to 17,731 people.

Florida’s most populous county, Miami-Dade, continues to be the hardest hit by the virus. Today it reported 1,685 new cases and 8 new deaths, with a total of 207,221 confirmed cases and 3,731 deaths since the pandemic began. The percentage of positive cases increased to 9.21 percent; well above the 5 percent positivity threshold that was used as a measure to reopen the economy months ago.

Governor Ron DeSantis has been emphatic in his decision not to shut down, even partially, the economy, even limiting the power of local governments to impose their own rules. The southern state’s focus is on keeping its hospitals operating normally, something it has achieved so far, and being prepared to start applying the vaccine as soon as it is received.

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