Marion County has vaccinated 48,434 residents across all providers through Feb. 24, according to the local Florida Department of Health office.
The county continues to progress through its original list of 50,000 people 65 and older who registered for appointments late last year. So far, about 32,000 have been contacted. The DOH is vaccinating about 3,000 people per week.
Marion County residents can also register to be contacted when the vaccine is available through the state’s site at https://myvaccine.fl.gov/ or by calling 833-540-2070. Vaccination appointments are also available through Publix, Winn-Dixie, Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club.
Appointments can be made by visiting Walmart’s website at walmart.com/covidvaccine, Sam’s Club at samsclub.com/pharmacy, Winn-Dixie at winndixie.com/pharmacy/covid-vaccine or Publix at www.publix.com/covid-vaccine/florida
There is also more good news on the way.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration endorsed the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine for emergency use before the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee meets on Friday. Dr. Anthony Fauci expects the vaccine to be cleared for emergency use authorization.
According to Johnson & Johnson, the vaccine has 66% efficacy in preventing moderate to severe COVID-19 28 days after vaccination and 72% in the United States. It also has 85% efficacy in preventing severe COVID-19.
The news comes on the heels of a month where cases have declined but deaths have increased. The county reported 116.3 new cases per day from Feb. 1 through Feb. 24 compared to 216.5 cases per day in January. Marion County’s daily positivity rate has dipped from 13.53% in January to 9.13% in February so far.
Deaths, which lag behind cases for weeks, have nearly doubled since January, when the county was surging with cases. The county reported 7.9 deaths per day in February so far, a significant increase from the four deaths per day in January.