Florida reports over 11,600 coronavirus cases, 72 more deaths
ORLANDO, Fla. - The Florida Department of Health on Saturday reported 11,682 new positive coronavirus cases bringing the total to 1,193,165 people that have been infected statewide.
Another 72 more Florida residents are reported dead. That brings the total number of Florida resident deaths to 20,473. Including non-resident fatalities, the combined toll is 20,764.
Saturday's numbers are a bit lower than the last two days. On Friday, it was the second day in a row where new, single-day cases of COVID-19 broke 13,000.
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Earlier this week, healthcare workers and nursing home residents were the first to get vaccinated with Pfizer's doses.
In a report released by the Florida Department of Health on Saturday, officials said as of 7 a.m. the same day, 32,707 individuals were vaccinated for COVID-19 in the state.
On Friday, U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine for emergency use on Friday, the second vaccine to be approved by U.S. regulators to prevent severe COVID-19 illness.
Gov. Ron DeSantis said once the FDA approves it for emergency use, the state can expect 367,000 doses. Like the Pfizer vaccine, Moderna's requires a second follow-up dose and each vaccine has its own narrow window of time for a patient to get that second dose.
FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, called the approval "another crucial step in the fight against this global pandemic."
"Through the FDA’s open and transparent scientific review process, two COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized in an expedited timeframe while adhering to the rigorous standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization that the American people have come to expect from the FDA," Hahn said in a statement.
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The Director of the National Institutes of Health, Francis S. Collins called the emergency use authorization "A remarkable scientific achievement."
Moderna will begin shipping millions of doses, earmarked for health workers and nursing home residents, to boost the largest vaccination effort in U.S. history.