'Lawless' vaccine rollout; 22 UK variant cases — 9 things to know about COVID-19 in Florida

From a chaotic vaccine roll-out to the fast-spreading variant, here's the latest news about the novel coronavirus in Florida.

Nine things to know, as of Jan. 11:

1. Florida reported almost 20,000 COVID-19 cases Jan. 8 and more than 15,000 cases Jan. 9, reports The New York Times. 

2. At least 22 cases of the fast-spreading U.K. coronavirus variant have been confirmed in Florida,  the CDC said Jan. 8. The agency has reported 60 total cases in the U.S. across eight states.

3. Florida is allowing everyone 65 and older access to the COVID-19 vaccine, a move that has led to long lines, confusion and disappointment, according to the NYT. The CDC recommends giving the next priority after the earliest groups to essential workers and people 75 and older.

4. More than 402,000 doses had been administered in Florida as of Jan. 8, the fourth-highest total in the U.S., according to federal data cited by the NYT. However, the state has only administered about 30 percent of the doses it has received, behind 29 other states.

5. People in Fort Myers and Daytona Beach waited outside overnight for vaccines given on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

6. Lake County officials just wanted to distribute vaccines quickly, forgoing a more organized appointment system, Aaron Kissler, health administrator for the county, told the NYT.

7. The Florida Department of Health is developing a statewide online appointment system, but it's not yet ready. Gov. Ron DeSantis' administration says it has been preparing for the vaccine rollout since July, stockpiling supplies and enrolling more than 270 providers to receive the shots once available. 

8. Florida has no residency requirement for people to get the vaccine, with news reports in Argentina claiming wealthy people vacationing in Miami received vaccinations.

9. There have been allegations of private institutions distributing the vaccine to people who aren't in any of the priority groups. 

"It's crazy here," Perri Young, MD, an internist in Miami, told the NYT. "It became sort of lawless." 

More articles on public health:
UK variant found in 8 states; hospitalizations top 100K for 40 days — 6 COVID-19 updates
20 states where COVID-19 is spreading fastest, slowest: Jan. 11
States ranked by percentage of COVID-19 vaccines administered


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