First COVID vaccine administered in Florida
TAMPA, Fla (WCTV) - The first COVID-19 vaccine has just been administered in Florida.
A 31-year-old nurse who works in the COVID unit at Tampa General was the first to receive the vaccine. She rolled up her sleeve at the conclusion of Gov. Ron DeSantis’s press conference Monday morning. You can watch the press conference below.
The shot was administered within an hour of the first doses of the newly approved Pfizer vaccine arriving at the hospital.
The governor was at the loading dock when that FedEx shipment arrived.
“Today we will have shots going in arms,” DeSantis said. He called it “a really significant milestone” in combatting the pandemic.
“This is a game-changer. It’s a great day for the United States. It’s a great day for the State of Florida,” DeSantis said.
The governor says five of the state’s biggest hospitals will receive 100,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine this Monday and Tuesday. Once they have administered the vaccines to their employees, the governor has asked them to reach out to other local hospital systems to share the rest.
“This is truly a historic moment,” Tampa General President John Couris said. “This is 20,000 doses of hope. This is the beginning to the end. This is monumental if you’re sitting in our shoes caring for the patients that need us the most.”
“This is a magic moment,” said Dr. Charles Lockwood, Dean of USF’s College of Medicine. “I thought back to when I was a kid and Neil Armstrong walked on the moon and from a health care perspective, this is our magic Neil Armstrong moment.”
The first doses of the Pfizer vaccine will go to hospitals, while the next doses will go to long term care facilities. The governor is hopeful if shipments continue weekly as scheduled, seniors in the state who are not in long term care could be receiving them by the end of the year.
DeSantis said he is hopeful that an FDA panel will recommend approval of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine this Thursday, hopeful that the FDA will approve it on Friday, and shipments of those vaccines could be arriving in Florida next Monday.
The doctors described the vaccines as “the beginning of the end of this terrible pandemic” but encouraged people to continue wearing masks, social distance, and avoid crowds.
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