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Two South Florida Hospitals to receive COVID Vaccines in December

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Who will be the first to get COVID-19 vaccines? AP Illustration/Peter Hamlin

South Floridians will be among the first to receive a COVID vaccine. Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital and Fort Lauderdale’s Memorial Regional Hospital will be getting vaccine doses as soon as next month. Chief of Critical Medicine at Memorial Dr. Aharon Sareli warns that the vaccine is not a magic bullet.

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“We expect to receive a limited supply of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in mid-December and are prepared with the proper storage to begin immediate distribution,” said Lidia Amoretti, spokeswoman for Jackson Memorial in a statement. “We have purchased equipment, such as ultra-cold freezers, to ensure we have capacity to safely store the vaccine.”

A spokesperson with Memorial Regional also said they expect to start receiving the vaccine sometime in December.

The vaccine news comes as Pfizer revealed Wednesday a 94% effectiveness rate in trials for its COVID vaccine.

There is increasing speculation that Pfizer and Moderna, which is also reporting similar success with its vaccine, will soon ask the U.S. government for fast emergency approval.

According to a plan from the Florida Department of Health, health care personnel, essential workers, people with underlying medical conditions, and those over 65 will be among the first to receive the vaccine, which likely will require two doses.

Below is the full statement released Wednesday by the Jackson Health System regarding the vaccine:

Jackson Health System is among the hospitals working closely with the Florida Department of Health to receive COVID-19 vaccines. We completed the proper registration to be eligible for participation in the Florida Shots Program. We expect to receive a limited supply of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in mid-December and are prepared with the proper storage to begin immediate distribution. We have purchased equipment, such as ultra-cold freezers, to ensure we have capacity to safely store the vaccine. During the first phase, the vaccine will be available for frontline healthcare workers in hospitals, long-term care staff and residents, and first responders.

There are more calls for a statewide mask mandate. Five mayors yesterday held a virtual press conference to request Governor Ron DeSantis issue an order requiring everyone to wear masks so visitors to our state will feel safer.

Also, Parents worried about in person and on-line learning options for their kids can breathe easier. Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran announced yesterday that online learning will be allowed to continue in the spring semester. Corcoran says he’ll issue an emergency order by the end of the month. There’s no word, though, if school districts will continue to receieve the same level of funding for online learning.