AdventHealth to be one of the first to get COVID-19 vaccine

AdventHealth in Orlando will be one of the first hospitals in the state to get a vaccine, which may be as early as mid-December.

Pharmaceutical companies are racing to finalize their COVID-19 vaccines. Pfizer is planning to apply for emergency authorization for its vaccine in days.

Central Florida leaders are now focusing on the process of sending an eventual vaccine out to the public and one local hospital says it will be among the first to receive the vaccine.

"The science is clear and seems to be getting more clear," says Seminole County Medical Director Dr. Todd Husty. "There could be anywhere from 40-60 million doses delivered by the end of December. That's a good start."

He says once the FDA approves the Pfizer vaccine for emergency use, he says seniors, health care workers, and first responders will get it first. As for the rest of the public, it could be in early 2021. 

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Orange County officials say they have the means necessary to store tens of thousands of doses of a coronavirus vaccine once it is eventually released.

Mayor Jerry Demings says they want to be ready when a vaccine is released and buying special freezers is the next step to battling the coronavirus. Demings says the county can store 150,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccines with its new refrigerator, freezer, and ultra-cold freezer.

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Pharmaceutical companies Moderna and Pfizer say they are close to the finish line with 94.5 and 95-percent effective rates.

Pfizer’s vaccine success rate is the highest of any candidate in the late-stage clinical trial so far and will be seeking FDA emergency use approval in the coming days.

Adventhealth is looking for volunteers for its own clinical trial in conjunction with Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson and Johnson.