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Coronavirus Live Updates: Nearly 5 Million Doses Of COVID Vaccine Sit Unused In Florida

vaccine covid.jpg
The South Florida Sun Sentinel

This post will be updated today, Friday, June 18, and through the week with the latest information on COVID-19 in South Florida.

WLRN staff continues to add updates on testing and vaccination sites, executive orders and messages from government officials, and the latest news on COVID-19. You can find information on free food and food distributions here.

The dedicated website for the Florida Department of Health, including information about the numbers of cases, can be found here.

The dedicated website from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can be found here.

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QUICK UPDATES

Nearly 5 Million Doses Of COVID Vaccine Sit Unused In Florida

Updated Friday at 6:05 a.m.

Close to 5 million doses of the COVID vaccine sit in freezers in doctors’ offices, pharmacies or clinics in Florida, waiting for someone to want protection from the virus.

As Florida’s surplus grows and demand weakens, providers say they can’t help but waste doses and fear vials stored in their freezers will expire before they can be used. As of June 4, the most recent statistics available, more than 33,400 doses had been wasted or spoiled after they were removed from cold storage.

“Unfortunately we do have vaccines that we have to toss out,” said Franck Kacou, the owner of Progress Pharmacy on Okeechobee Boulevard in West Palm Beach. “We don’t want to waste anything, but right now there is no other option.”

— By Cindy Krischer Goodman / The South Florida Sun Sentinel

Read more from our news partner at The South Florida Sun Sentinel

Fast-Spreading COVID Variant From India Reported In Florida

Updated Friday at 6:00 a.m.

The highly aggressive delta variant first detected in India has surfaced in Florida, just as national leaders warn it could soon become the dominant COVID-19 strain in the U.S.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID tracker shows Florida has at least 72 cases of the variant as of June 15.

Federal health officials have labeled Delta a “variant of concern,” a designation given to strains that show evidence of increased transmissibility or that cause a more severe disease. The variant, scientifically known as B.1.617.2, is considered more likely to cause severe illness in unvaccinated people — symptoms develop more quickly and viral loads climb faster than in people infected with other variants.

— By Cindy Krischer Goodman / The South Florida Sun Sentinel

Read more from our news partner at The South Florida Sun Sentinel

CDC’s Travel Warning For Cruise Ships Eases, COVID-19 Risk High For Unvaccinated

Updated Friday at 5:56 a.m.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lowered its travel warning for cruise ships Wednesday, recommending only unvaccinated passengers avoid cruise travel.

The COVID-19 risk for unvaccinated passengers on cruise ships is now set at Level 3, the second highest, down from Level 4. Previously, the CDC recommended all passengers avoid cruise travel.

The changes come as the cruise industry prepares to restart from U.S. ports in the coming weeks. The first test cruise is scheduled for Sunday — Royal Caribbean International’s Freedom of the Seas ship from PortMiami — and the first revenue cruise for June 26 — Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Edge ship from Port Canaveral.

— By Taylor Dolven / The Miami Herald

Read more from our news partner at The Miami Herald