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Federal and Florida vaccine efforts add up to more shots for seniors

CDC provides new guidance on mask-wearing

CDC issues new guidelines on mask wearing
CDC issues new guidelines on mask wearing

HIALEAH GARDENS, Fla. – Inside Walmart and the other new vaccination sites in big chain pharmacies, the shots are coming from a newly directed national supply.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has been flying around the state daily, delivering news of delivering vaccine doses — news that got a lot better this week with a projected 25-30% increase.

The weekly state allocations continue to supply the mobile sites, hospitals, and community-based distributions. The new supply from the federal pharmacy program adds hundreds more locations, including at Walmart, Sam’s Club, Publix and Winn-Dixie stores.

“The great thing about that is — those are doses that are in addition to the doses we are already getting,” DeSantis said. “So yes, some of the state’s allocation has gone to Publix, but all the new Publix locations and all the Walmart locations, those are tens of thousands of doses direct from [the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services].”

The state confirmed they are allocating doses based on the population of senior citizens in each county needing shots.

Wednesday, that daily accounting showed 30% of Miami-Dade’s seniors are vaccinated, 39% in Broward and 36% in Monroe. The statewide average is 37%.

With about two thirds of Florida seniors yet to be vaccinated comes a newly framed cooperation between Florida’s leadership and the White House’s COVID-19 response task force.

“We are going to see more in the range of outreach with our federally qualified community health centers doing outreach to their outpatient populations to bring them in, as well as some of the other pharmacies locations expanding,” said task force chair Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith.

Also on Wednesday, new guidance from the CDC regarding mask-wearing.

The CDC found that wearing a medical procedure mark with a cloth mask over it, or wearing a medical procedure mask with the ear loops knotted, reduced the risk of virus transmission by more than 95%.

“The bottom line is this: masks work, and they work best when they have a good fit and are worn correctly,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.

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About the Authors:

Glenna Milberg joined Local 10 News in September 1999 to report on South Florida's top stories and community issues. She also serves as co-host on Local 10's public affairs broadcast, "This Week in South Florida."

Liane Morejon is an Emmy-winning reporter who joined the Local 10 News family in January 2010. Born and raised in Coral Gables, Liane has a unique perspective on covering news in her own backyard.