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  • The state's four FEMA sites and select pharmacies are some of the places where school staff of all ages can get their shots.
  • State Health officials reported 6,118 new COVID-19 cases and 120 deaths, Thursday. As of Wednesday, more than 3.1 million people in Florida have been vaccinated, including more than 1.4 million who have received a first dose and more than 1.7 million people who have completed the series.Retail pharmacy sites offering the vaccine like CVS and Publix are now offering doses to K-12 school employees, daycare workers and those extremely vulnerable to the virus due to a medical condition, regardless of age.Florida Democratic leaders like Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried remain critical of the governor’s vaccine rollout, citing another example of an affluent community in the Florida Keys including nearly two dozen financial supports of DeSantis, that was given vaccine priority.A draft Inspector General’s report, this week, details problems with Florida’s unemployment benefit system.A U.S. Census Bureau survey this week reveals that most U.S. businesses are not requiring COVID-19 testing for workers or vaccines when employees become eligible to receive them.Democrats in the Florida House, Thursday, introduced a broad COVID-19 relief bill.
  • After learning that residents of the ultra-wealthy Ocean Reef Club in North Key Largo received coronavirus vaccines in early January — well before most Floridians had a chance to sign up for the shot — Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is renewing calls for a federal investigation into vaccine access in Florida.
  • A wealthy gated community for seniors aged 65 and older in the Florida Keys had been vaccinated by Mid-January , according to a newsletter emailed to its residents.
  • In addition to expanding appointments at its pharmacies, Publix announced it was adding 136 stores in Broward and Miami-Dade counties.
  • Florida’s COVID-19 vaccine eligibility is growing as Governor Ron DeSantis amended a previous executive order, Monday, to expand vaccine access to teachers, firefighters and law enforcement officers 50 and older. Younger people with medical conditions that would make them extremely vulnerable to the virus can also now get the vaccine through physicians’ offices and pharmacies. Previously that demographic’s access to the vaccine was limited to hospitals.Florida expects to receive 175,000 doses of the newly FDA-approved single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine this week.
  • The order, issued late Friday afternoon, allows physicians to vaccinate people who are deemed “extremely vulnerable” to the disease.
  • Only about 1 percent of people vaccinated in Sarasota County are Black. Advocates say the distribution process puts underserved communities at a disadvantage. They're fighting to change that.
  • State health officials reported 7,087 new COVID-19 cases, Wednesday and 127 deaths. Governor Ron DeSantis says he’s expecting a surge in vaccine doses coming to Florida in the coming weeks and that teachers, firefighters and law enforcement officers 50 and older could be next in line to receive the vaccine. DeSantis says he’s also targeting rural counties with relatively low rates of seniors vaccinated such as DeSoto and Hardy and Glades Counties in Southwest Florida. Advocates in Sarasota are fighting to get more vaccine doses to people of color as just 1% of Blacks and 1.5% of Hispanics in the County have received the vaccine. The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a complaint filed against Manatee County Commission Chairwoman Vanessa Baugh over alleged misuse of her position in cherry-picking who would receive vaccine doses at a state-run pop-up clinic last week in Lakewood Ranch. The Venice Fire Rescue Department is looking to expand its outreach through a state pilot program aimed at getting vaccines to eligible homebound residents.
  • The Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires one dose and was found to be 100 percent effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths.