MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Despite the arrival of a vaccine, experts stress it isn’t time to let our guard down, especially before the holidays.
Close to 370-thousand doses of the Moderna vaccine will soon be on the way to South Florida after it was given emergency approval last Friday. It will be delivered directly to several hospitals early this week.
Federal health experts say it is 94-percent effective and doesn’t require ultra-cold storage like the Pfizer vaccine.
CBS4 spoke to the White House deputy communications director who said don’t get too comfortable since it’s not widely available.
“Watch your distance, wear your mask, and wash your hands. It’s time to be careful. We don’t want to overwhelm the healthcare system,” deputy communication director Brian Morgenstern.
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Hospitals in South Florida that will receive the Moderna vaccine include Baptist Health, Broward Health, Cleveland Clinic, Holy Cross Health, Coral Gables Hospital, and Hialeah Hospital.
According to the state’s health department, more than 32-thousand individuals have been vaccinated for COVID-19 in Florida.
“We need the vast majority to be willing to take it and have enough doses. We can not get this problem as a community (under control) unless we have a huge percentage of the population, ideally 85 to 90 percent with good immunity, to get back to normal,” said Florida International University infectious diseases expert Dr. Aileen Marty.
Marty said with Christmas and New Year’s Eve just days away, it’s not time to let our guard down.
The Centers for Disease Control recommends gatherings be limited to 10 people, avoid direct contact like hugging and handshakes, host outdoor events, and require guests to wear masks and social distance.
People who have already received the vaccine are also urged to follow the CDC guidelines.