WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Palm Beach County officials held a Friday afternoon news conference to provide an update on COVID-19 cases and vaccine distribution.
Dr. Alina Alonso, the head of the Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County, said 18,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine will be delivered to the county health department next week.
Fire rescue, EMS, paramedics, county health department staff and frontline health care workers will receive the first inoculations, she said.
"Palm Beach County is specifically being given the Moderna vaccine," Alonso said. "We have plans on how we're going to get all these people vaccinated."
An FDA advisory committee on Thursday endorsed the Moderna vaccine for emergency use. The FDA is expected to act quickly to authorize the Moderna vaccine.
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Alonso said nursing home residents will get their vaccines through Walgreens and CVS.
The vaccine will eventually be available to all Palm Beach County residents free of charge.
The county said public distribution to individuals throughout Palm Beach County, when additional supplies of the vaccine are available, will be done through traditional health care vaccination providers, drive-thru sites, walk-up clinic sites and mobile vehicles.
"When you get the vaccine, you will get a card that says what the make of the vaccine that you got, the lot number, other information just like every vaccine you get, and it will also give you the date that you're going to get that second appointment. For Moderna, it is specifically four weeks apart," Alonso said.
According to the state's latest numbers, there have been 1,816 coronavirus deaths in Palm Beach County.
Palm Beach County's daily first-time positivity rate is currently at 7.33 percent. Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner said Friday the state positivity rate is at 14.53 percent.
The countywide mask mandate has been extended to Jan. 20. Officials continue to advise avoiding large gatherings during the holiday, and avoid the 3 Cs: crowded places, close contact and confined spaces.
According to state data, there have been more than 1.1 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 this year in Florida.