Florida health officials report another 5.5K COVID-19 cases

The Florida Department of Health reported 5,539 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday.

That brings the total statewide infections since the start of the pandemic to 1,909,221.

They also reported more COVID-19 deaths, raising the death toll to 31,406.

RELATED: Interactive map of COVID-19 cases across Florida

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State health officials said that 4,697,891 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been distributed in Florida. That covers 3,017,661 people, with 1,337,431 receiving just the first dose of the vaccine and another 1,680,230 receiving the complete series.

With vaccine distribution ramping up, U.S. health advisers endorsed a one-dose COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson on Friday, putting the nation on the cusp of adding an easier-to-use option to fight the pandemic.

The Food and Drug Administration quickly followed the recommendation and made J&J’s shot the third vaccine authorized for emergency use in the U.S. Vaccinations are picking up speed, but new supplies are urgently needed to stay ahead of a mutating virus that has killed more than 500,000 Americans.

RELATED: 'Florida got it right' Gov. DeSantis touts state's pandemic recovery success at CPAC

After daylong discussions, the FDA panelists voted unanimously that the benefits of the vaccine outweighed the risks for adults. If the FDA agrees, shipments of a few million doses could begin as early as Monday.

More than 47 million people in the U.S., or 14% of the population, have received at least one shot of the two-dose vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, which FDA authorized in December.

Meanwhile, the House passed a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package early Saturday, 219-212, that includes $1,400 checks for most Americans and billions of dollars for schools, state and local governments and businesses.


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