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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.

Vaccine Distribution At UF Health To Slow As Retail Sites Come Online

The CEO of UF Health Jacksonville said Thursday it may be a few weeks before his hospital receives more doses of coronavirus vaccines.

The CEO of UF Health Jacksonville said Thursday it may be a few weeks before his hospital  receives more doses of coronavirus vaccines. 

CEO Dr. Leon Haley said the government is prioritizing distribution at pharmacies and grocery stores, but he hopes more doses will be available soon as new kinds of vaccines are approved for use. 

“We anticipate that both the AstraZeneca and the Johnson & Johnson should come up in the next couple of weeks, that we can go back to a multipronged approach involving the Publixes of the world, pharmacies, hospitals, and other health care communities,” Haley said. 

With lower efficacy rates but simpler distribution protocols, new vaccines from AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson are expected to be approved for emergency use by the FDA by spring. 

UF Health Jacksonville was one of five hospital systems statewide to receive early allotments of the Pfizer vaccine, which it began distributing to its staff and some patients as well as people over the age of 65 according to state regulations. It is finishing up distribution of the 20,000 doses it was allotted in mid-December. 

Haley said about 48% of hospital staff refused the vaccine, many of them people who are pregnant or breastfeeding. 

But, he said, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in circulation have 95% efficacy rates and have been shown to have only mild side effects. 

Contact Sydney Boles atsboles@wjct.orgor on Twitter at @sydneyboles.


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