South Florida healthcare workers set to get first coronavirus vaccines

Source: WPLG

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MIAMI – Medical personnel in South Florida will soon be rolling up their sleeves to get a coronavirus vaccine.

Video showed shipments of shots being unloaded in Miramar on Monday morning, as Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood and Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami are among the initial health systems receiving the vaccine.

The first Memorial Regional worker will receive the first of two doses of the vaccine during a public event at about 2 p.m. Monday in Miramar.

Gov. Ron DeSantis says the shots from pharmaceutical company Pfizer will be arriving at Jackson on Tuesday, and they will be used to protect health care workers on the frontlines of the crisis.

A 31-year-old nurse at Tampa General Hospital rolled up her left shirt sleeve and became the first person in Florida to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday morning.

The first healthcare workers nationally were being vaccinated earlier Monday in New York.

By Tuesday, Florida will have 100,000 doses of the vaccine for five hospitals — Jackson Memorial in Miami-Dade, Memorial Regional in Broward, Tampa General, University of Florida-Shands in Jacksonville and Advent Health in Orlando.

Once the vials arrive at JMH, they will be distributed to 13 other hospitals in Miami-Dade County.

Jackson has ultracold freezers ready to store the vaccine, which must be kept at temperatures as low as -112 degrees.

Florida is expected to receive 179,400 doses, but that number is less than one percent of the state’s population.

“A number of 179,400 sounds like a tremendous amount of vaccine. That’s actually very little compared to our population, considering that we have to give two doses to each individual,” said infectious disease expert Dr. Aileen Marty of Florida International University.

Due to short supply, only the most vulnerable can get the vaccine.

CVS and Walgreens are receiving the vaccine so residents and staff at long-term care facilities can get it.

The state’s health department, division of emergency management, and the Florida National Guard will help the pharmacies administer doses for those in long-term care facilities.

Everyone who gets the vaccine will be given a six-page fact sheet from Pfizer that explains the benefits and risks of vaccination.

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