COVID-19 vaccine campaign eligibility expands; Miami-Dade’s critical care patients drop

DORAL, Fla. – COVID-19 patients have been impacting intensive care units for a year now, but Dr. Peter Paige said the critical care numbers have recently dropped pretty significantly in Miami-Dade.

Paige, Miami-Dade’s chief medical examiner, said this could be a sign that the COVID-19 vaccine campaign is working. He delivered the good news to local leaders on Friday during a virtual meeting.

“When you look at our critical care inpatient population, it has dropped roughly 25% across the county,” Paige said. “This is really more than likely reflective of the vaccination efforts.”

The news comes as the vaccine campaign is expanding. People who are 40 years old or older will be eligible starting on Monday. People who are 18 years old or older will be eligible starting on April 5.

Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nunez visited a new appointment-only vaccination site that opened on Friday at the Legacy Park in Doral. She said the federal government increased the supply of vaccines in Florida.

“We received roughly 66,000 additional Pfizer vaccines,” Nunez said. “The prior week we had gotten zero Johnson & Johnson, so this week we believe we received upwards of 25,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines.”

According to the Florida Department of Health, 3,004,403 had completed either the double-dose or single-dose series in Florida as of Friday morning, including 356,178 in Miami-Dade.

Also as of Friday morning, 2,470,806 people had completed the first dose of a double-dose series in Florida, including 331,127 in Miami-Dade, according to the FDOH.

Gov. Ron Desantis celebrated the campaign’s progress in Florida during a news conference on Friday. FDOH reported 3,280,897 people who are age 65 or older have been vaccinated, including 1,087,885 who received the first dose and 2,193,012 who completed the series.

“We are going to be at 3.5 million seniors soon,” DeSantis said.

President Joe Biden announced on Thursday that he was doubling his COVID-19 vaccine distribution goal to 200 million during his first 100 days in office. Biden also asked Americans to continue to wear face masks, social distance, and follow safety guidelines.

Paige said he was still concerned about the spread of the coronavirus variants. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns the evolutions of the virus may lead to more hospitalizations and potentially more COVID-19 deaths.

Florida leads the country on the number of variant cases detected. According to the CDC, Florida reported 1,042 cases of the United Kingdom variant, or B117; 23 cases of the Brazil variant, or P1; and 10 cases of the South Africa variant, or B.1.351.

Related FDOH reports

STATEWIDE

The Florida Department of Health's vaccination data through Mar 25, as of Mar 26 at 12:05 a.m. (FDOH)

COUNTYWIDE

The Florida Department of Health's vaccination data through Mar 25, as of Mar 26 at 12:05 a.m. (FDOH)

Related stories


About the Authors: