PBS and NPR for Southwest Florida
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Vaccine

  • Lee Health held a press conference Tuesday about the surge in COVID-19 cases in Southwest Florida and its impact on Lee Health’s emergency departments and overall capacity. The health system warned that the surge peak is expected within the next two to three weeks.
  • Covid vaccination cards are important documents to keep track of. What if you didn’t?
  • Get the basics of what’s known about the Omicron variant so far, learn more about how COVID vaccinations and booster shots work, and find out where the flu vaccine fits into it all.
  • Golisano Children’s Hospital’s Mobile Pediatric Vaccination Clinic will be making stops around Southwest Florida next week to vaccinate children 5 years old and older for COVID-19.
  • The Miami Dade and Leon County school districts are preparing to file a new lawsuit against Florida over the state’s efforts to ban student mask mandates. Eleven school districts across the state could face financial penalties for continuing to require student mask wearing.The Florida Department of Health has threatened Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings with fines over a vaccine mandate for county employees, but Demings said the mandate doesn’t violate state law as no worker can be fired for not getting the vaccine.Lee Health continues to report declines in the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in its hospitals.The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, this week, announced nearly $1 billion dollars in American Rescue Plan funding for community health centers that treat underserved communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. The funding includes nearly $40 million for 45 health centers across Florida.The traditional flu season begins Friday as Florida continues its recovery from the worst surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. Health experts urge people to get the flu vaccine now.
  • Lee Health and the NCH Healthcare systems have resumed performing elective surgeries as numbers of hospitalized COVID-19 patients continue to decline.State workers in Florida are still struggling more than a year and a half into the pandemic. Three state prisons have closed due to a lack of corrections officers. Agencies under Governor Ron DeSantis' control began ordering employees back to their offices last October with mask wearing and social distancing optional. Since then, state agencies have disclosed little public information about how their workers are faring.Gov. DeSantis is crediting the recent decline in hospitalized COVID-19 patients to his efforts to increase access to monoclonal antibody treatments, but doctors argue that the treatments are just part of the reason why hospitalizations are on the decline and that the treatments are not a replacement for vaccination.A lawsuit filed by several Florida school districts over mask mandates was recently dismissed, but Leon County School District officials say they’ll refile their suit to reflect recent rule changes from the Florida Department of Health. A dozen other Florida districts are presently defying Gov. Ron DeSantis’ attempts to ban mandatory masking in schools.
  • Mask wearing is not optional for students and staff in the Sarasota County School district. The district’s mask policy calls for mask wearing to become optional once the daily COVID-19 test positivity rate drops to 8% for three consecutive days. Masking could again become mandatory if the positivity rate rises above 10%.The FDA has announced it will grant emergency use authorization for a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for people 65 and older, people at high risk for severe infection, and for people whose jobs put them at high risk of exposure to the virus.The rate of healthcare workers leaving their hospital jobs amid the ongoing pandemic has spiked. The average turnover rate during a normal year is about 17.5%, but this year that’s tracking closer to 45%.Some Florida teachers have seen their $1,000 disaster relief bonus checks from the state bounce due to a banking error. The Department of Education says the problem is being addressed and that any fees incurred by those impacted will be refunded.Carnival Cruise line lost $2.8 billion in the third quarter of 2022, but passenger bookings for the second half of 2022 are already tracking to exceed pre-pandemic levels.This week a consortium of performing arts organizations in Sarasota begin imposing a uniform set of COVID safety protocols including proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test in order to attend indoor performances.
  • The Alachua County School District is the first in the nation to receive federal funding from a Biden administration program aimed at supporting school districts facing financial sanctions for imposing student mask mandates.Florida’s supply of federally-purchased monoclonal antibody treatments will be cut by more than half starting next week.The Collier County School District has documented more COVID-19 cases in the first six weeks of this school year than in the entire previous school year.
  • Physician and researcher Dr. Joseph Ladapo was announced, Tuesday, as Florida’s new Surgeon General. In a news conference, Ladapo discussed his objection to mandates and lockdowns as tools to quell the spread of COVID-19, saying whether to get the vaccine should be a personal choice.Pfizer-BioNTech says its vaccine trial for 5-11-year-old kids is showing promising initial results. A vaccine for children may be approved by November or December.Manatee County Commissioners are among local elected leaders raising concerns about possibly being caught between state law banning COVID-19 vaccine mandates and President Biden's proposed federal mandate requiring large employers to require workers to get vaccinated, or be tested for the virus weekly.
  • Hospital officials from across Florida addressed members of the Florida House Pandemic and Public Emergencies Committee, calling impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic “devastating,” and highlighting the financial toll that treating COVID-19 hospitalized patients is having on healthcare systems.Hospitals in Southwest Florida continue to report declines in their populations of hospitalized COVID-19 patients even as the death toll remains high. State health officials reported 2,468 new COVID-19 deaths across Florida over the past week, bringing the statewide death toll from the pandemic to 51,240 fatalities.A Sarasota store owner has filed a lawsuit against Florida’s Surgeon General challenging a law that bars business owners from requiring proof of customers’ vaccination status before entering.