At 11 a.m., DeSantis and Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz joined Tampa General Hospital CEO John Couris at the hospital for a press conference.
During the press conference, a doctor at Tampa General said the first shipment to the hospital included 20,000 doses of Pfizer’s vaccine. DeSantis said another shipment of 20,000 doses will be delivered statewide on Tuesday.
DeSantis also said he is hopeful that Moderna’s vaccine will be approved for emergency use by the end of this week and will delivered starting next week. When Moderna’s vaccine is distributed, he said Florida should receive between 300,000 and 400,000 doses.
At the end of the press conference, Vanessa Arroyo, a nurse at Tampa General, was one of the first people to receive Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine at the hospital.
DeSantis was at TGH Monday morning as the boxes of vaccine doses arrived.
The vaccine will first be provided to health care workers and others at higher risk for contracting the coronavirus, such as people living at long-term care facilities.
People living in long-term care centers in Broward and Pinellas counties will be among the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Tampa General Hospital is among five hospitals in Florida that will get a portion of 97,500 doses. It says the hospital has the ability to maintain the ultra-cold storage required by the vaccine — 112 degrees below zero.
“You’ll see vaccine move into this area, probably by next week. At this time (next week), I would expect there to be vaccine in our freezer at Tampa General Hospital,” said Dr. Jason Wilson, the Associate Medical Director at TGH’s emergency department, said last week.
Another 60,450 will be sent to CVS and Walgreens for use in long-term care facilities, and about 21,450 doses are allocated for the Florida Department of Health.
Pfizer’s vaccine follows a two-dose schedule, meaning people who receive the first shot must get the second shot about three weeks later. The FDA says the vaccine was 95-percent effective in preventing COVID-19 among clinical trial participants based upon the schedule.
The vaccine, like other medications, could cause side effects. Those most commonly reported side effects include pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain and fever, according to the FDA. Among trial participants, more people experienced side effects after the second dose.
Still, side effects still could be felt after the first dose.