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News about coronavirus in Florida and around the world is constantly emerging. It's hard to stay on top of it all but Health News Florida can help. Our responsibility is to keep you informed, and to help discern what’s important for your family as you make what could be life-saving decisions.

State Health Official in Collier County Discusses COVID-19 Vaccine

With vaccines making their way throughout the state for distribution, the county Health Department says anyone eligible for the first round will have access as they become available - including snowbirds.

With COVID-19 vaccines making their way throughout the state for distribution, the Florida Department of Health in Collier County says all people who are eligible for the first round of vaccines will have access as they become available.

That includes snowbirds from out of state.

"The vaccine rollout is nationwide, so seasonal residents regardless if they’re here from Massachusetts, New York or anywhere, if they’re in Collier County and eligible to receive the vaccine, they can receive the vaccine," said Kristine Hollingsworth with the county Health Department.

Hollingsworth said even though the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has been approved, "it does not provide full immunity right away. This vaccine is a two-part vaccine where you have to get one part at one point and then three weeks later you receive another vaccine. It does have a 95% efficacy rate but again this doesn’t make everyone immune."

Hollingsworth said it is important for the public to continue following CDC recommended guidelines, like social distancing and frequent handwashing, as it may be a few months before the COVID-19 vaccines are available for the general public.

"Those mitigation efforts that we’ve been doing all along, that's what's really going to help slow the spread in these winter months especially with the holidays coming up," Hollingsworth said.

Governor Ron DeSantis has said Florida would receive more than half a millionCOVID-19 vaccinations in December. Front-line health care workers and long term care facilities are slated to be the first to have access to the vaccines.

Copyright 2020 WGCU.

Andrea Perdomo is a reporter for WGCU News. She started her career in public radio as an intern for the Miami-based NPR station, WLRN. Andrea graduated from Florida International University, where she was a contributing writer for the student-run newspaper, The Panther Press, and also a member of the university's Society of Professional Journalists chapter.