NW Florida hospitals will have to wait for COVID-19 vaccines


PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — As we see vaccines arrive in other parts of the WKRG News 5 viewing area, those in northwest Florida will have to wait a bit longer.

“Today was really a historic day,” Governor Ron Desantis said.

The first vaccine in Florida went to a frontline nurse in Tampa during a news conference Monday morning at Tampa General Hospital.

In this first phase, five health systems are getting almost 200,000 vaccines this week in Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami and Orlando.

Governor Desantis says they’re getting more than they need and will share with other hospitals in those cities as they focus on getting healthcare workers vaccinated first.

“They have far more than they would need for just that group of people so we went to all five of those systems and we said ‘Look we had to pick five. You guys have done a great job but we have other systems that have done a great job as well. Can you work collaboratively with them?'”

Hospitals in the Florida Panhandle will have to wait.

Ascension Sacred Heart expected a limited amount next week but it’s enough to start vaccinating their staff who work in high risk areas. At West Florida Hospital, they are still waiting to hear from the state about when they will get vaccines for medical staff. WKRG News 5 reached out to Baptist as well but we are still waiting on a response.

Also this week, 80,000 vaccines will go to nursing homes in Florida.

“The CDC in collaboration with CV S, Walgreens, and the states created a very elaborate campaign strategy for execution into the long term care facilities,” said Gustave Perna, chief operating officer of Operation Warp Speed, during a Monday news conference.

Gov. Desantis expects between 750,000 and 1 million vaccines in the state before the end of December. It will likely be months before the vaccine is available to the general population.


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