February COVID-19 Vaccine Updates

With more than 27 million Americans who have received their first dose, and more than six million who are fully vaccinated, science and technology have come a long way in part to make this possible. The U.S. is administering about 1.3 million shots a day, reaching 8% of the total population in the nation. Distribution is a difficult process, and it varies from state to state. Here is some helpful information about the different vaccine efficiency rates and when you should be expecting your first dose.


Mia Michele Aviles, Assistant Editor

Newly elected President Biden declared his goal of getting 100 million vaccines into arms within the first 100 days of his administration. In order to speed up the process, the Biden administration is arranging a deal to purchase 200 million vaccination doses from Pfizer and Moderna, two manufacturers of the COVID-19 vaccine, set to be delivered this summer. Along with this, the administration is also using the Defense Production Act to solve issues like limited access to protective gear and medical tools, as well as working on plans to increase the number of locations where people can get the vaccine.

According to the CDC website, “Currently, two vaccines are authorized and recommended to prevent COVID-19: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also reports that large scale clinical trials are in progress or being planned for three additional COVID-19 vaccines in the United States, from three different companies called: AstraZeneca, Janssen, and Novavax respectively.

The vaccines are going out in phases known as 1a, 1 b, and 1c. The initial supplies of the vaccines, aka phase 1a are allocated to healthcare personnel and long-term care facility residents. The groups who should be offered the vaccination next, phase 1b, are frontline essential workers like teachers and firefighters, and people aged 75 and older. In phase 1c, people aged 65-74, people aged 16-64 with underlying conditions, and other essential workers are set to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Moreover, the CDC states that as vaccine availability increases, the vaccination recommendations will expand to include more groups; as the goal is for everyone to get the vaccine easily.

More specifically in South Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced on Thursday, February 4th, that the state will be allocating 1,500 doses weekly of the COVID-19 vaccine for homebound seniors, and that the first 750 doses are going to be for Holocaust survivors and their spouses. Publix is set to open new vaccination appointments on Friday, February 5th, but doses are still not available in Miami-Dade or Broward counties yet. Seniors ages 65 and older can book a slot in other counties. Some hospitals such as Jackson South are offering appointments to seniors, but they fill up very fast. It has been reported that Florida’s decentralized vaccination rollout has prioritized speed over equity, saying that luck and connections are unfortunately what determines who ends up getting the shot. However, the vaccine rollout problems are working on being improved. According to Florida Vaccination data updated as of February 4th, there have been 2,320,966 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered in Florida.