COVID-19 Vaccinations Have Begun


Keshav Madhavan, Staff Writer

Over the past couple of months, the Coronavirus cases have significantly risen, with the United States leading by a considerable amount. As the COVID-19 virus continues to spread throughout the United States, development for the vaccine has finally finished. The first patient to receive the vaccine was a nurse in New York. She was followed by 5,200 more workers who also were vaccinated. The question now becomes, when will Florida acquire the vaccinations and when will it reach the general public.

Florida so far has received a minimal amount of the vaccines, with about 4000 being vaccinated. Over 13,000 nurses were slated for the vaccine in Tampa and Orlando. However, almost half of them opted not to take it; half of the nurses reported that they have concerns over the vaccine and wanted to wait it out. The first Floridian to receive the vaccine was Stephen Quinones, an emergency room nurse.

“A lot of my colleagues don’t want to get the vaccine until it’s tried,” Quinones explained. “But some of us are going to have to take a leap and trust that the scientists behind this have our best interests in mind.”

Regardless of whether our nurses opt to receive the vaccine, the supply is very limited. Our governor, Ron DeSantis, previously tweeted a roadmap for the shipments arriving in Florida. Last night he tweeted an update to that shipment.

“We were supposed to get for next week 205,000 Pfizer and then the next week 247,000. Those next two weeks shipments of Pfizer are on hold right now,” DeSantis tweeted. “We don’t know whether we will get any or not. And we’re just going to have to wait.”

However, DeSantis does confirm that 370,000 doses will arrive this weekend, with the shipments gaining in quantities every week. As the vaccines come in, the first to receive will be limited to: people living in long-term care facilities, high-risk front-line healthcare workers, and anyone 65 and older with significant underlying conditions. After most have been treated, then the vaccine will be released to the public. Our governor estimates this will happen by about April or May.

In Florida, the virus cases are currently at about 13,000, with our all-time high at about 18,000 just a couple of weeks ago. Hopefully, the shipments will not continue to get delayed, as I’m sure everyone wants to get back to how life was a year before. Until then, wearing a mask and following safety protocols is the best way to avoid getting infected and spreading the vaccine.