Marion County approaches 100,000 vaccinated

Katlyn McNeal, a registered nurse from the Heart of Florida Health Center, right, gives Rebecca McCants her second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine during a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the New St. John Baptist Church on Northwest Second Street in Ocala, Fla. on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette] 2021.
On Friday, the Florida Department of Health reported giving out another 2,200 doses of COVD-19 vaccine in Marion County bringing the area tantalizingly close to the 100,000 vaccinations mark.

Officially, the mark stands at 99,749 through Thursday. The state’s report of vaccines given and totals are a day behind. With the county giving out an average of about 2,200 vaccines per day, the number of total vaccines likely eclipsed 100,000 on Friday. Marion would become the 19th county in the state to hit 100,000 vaccinations.

The latest numbers show 61,795 people completed their shot series, while another 37,954 have been given their first dose of a two-shot series. More than 9,000 residents have received a shot in the arm since Monday for an average of 2,253 per day.

According to The New York Times, 18% of Marion’s population has been fully vaccinated, which is 19th in the state.

As Marion County continues to vaccinate its residents, the Centers for Disease Control announced this week that the first shot of a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine is 80% effective against COVID-19 after two weeks, while the second shot offers 90% effectiveness after two weeks. The CDC also stated that fully vaccinated people can now safely travel domestically without a test or quarantine, though travel is still not recommended until cases nationwide decline.

Starting on Monday, all adults will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in the state of Florida. Marion County residents can sign up through https://tinyurl.com/MarionCOVIDvax or by finding an appointment at a local partner, such as Publix, CVS or Walmart.

The county added 66 new cases on Thursday, the highest total Marion County has reported since March 4. Florida still leads the country with 2,351 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant from the UK, 29 of which have been reported in Marion County. The county also added three more deaths on Friday, bringing the total to 923.

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