Florida nursing home residents are vaccinated against Covid-19

About 90 of the most vulnerable residents and 80 health care workers received their first doses of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine in John Knox Village, the senior community said.

Vera Leip, 88, has lived there for 16 years. She was one of the first Florida seniors to be vaccinated on Wednesday.

Leip was supposed to receive her dose around 9:00 a.m., but her vaccination was delayed until after Governor Ron DeSantis arrived around 1:00 p.m.

DeSantis left without answering questions from reporters.

All over the state, seniors have been hit hard by this pandemic.

While residents 65 and older make up about 14% of the Covid-19 cases in Florida, they are responsible for about 83% of the 20,000+ coronavirus deaths in the state, according to data from the Florida Department of Health.

And 39% of Covid-19 deaths in the state are related to long-term care facilities – residents and health workers included.

Who will be vaccinated afterwards?  It depends what state you live in

Now the state is struggling with a wave of new infections after Thanksgiving.

Since Thanksgiving, the number of Covid-19 hospital admissions in Florida has increased 37%, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

DeSantis announced last week that at least 21,450 doses of vaccine will go to long-term care facilities, and more are expected in the coming days.

Those first 21,450 doses went to health care facilities in two counties: Pinellas and Broward, according to the Florida Health Care Association.

The first shipments of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine have been distributed to all 50 states. And health officials are hoping that another vaccine, this one from Moderna, will soon receive emergency use clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
But with limited supplies, it will be several months before most of the American public can get a Covid-19 vaccine.