The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is pictured.
Matt Slocum / Associated Press

Preliminary research conducted on a small sample size suggests that certain COVID-19 vaccines, including Pfizer and Moderna, may not be effective for solid organ transplant patients and others with compromised immune systems.

The University of South Florida is participating in a clinical trial to determine whether people with a history of severe allergies are at greater risk for allergic reactions to the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines.

As of Tuesday, 132,321,628 people have received at least one dose of either vaccine in the United States.

Of those who received the Pfizer shot, 10 to 12 people per million experienced anaphylaxis. With Moderna, that number fell to less than 3 per million.

COVID-19 vaccine being administered.
Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

Wednesday, April 28, is the last day St. Johns County will offer first doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine at the Solomon Calhoun Community Center on Duval Street.

Heather Schatz/WJCT

Live music is returning to the Daily’s Place stage Friday night.


Federal data show that Florida has more COVID-19 cases tied to newer, more transmissible strains of the coronavirus than any other state. 

Gateway Mall Offering 3K First Dose Pfizer Shots Daily

Apr 20, 2021
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured.
Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

Starting Tuesday, federally-supported vaccination sites in Florida, including the one in Jacksonville at Gateway Mall, will be able to administer up to 3,000 first doses of Pfizer vaccine per day, according to a statement from a spokesperson for the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

Rep. Tom Leek, R-Ormond Beach
News Service of Florida

A House committee Monday approved a proposal that would limit local emergency orders and make permanent Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order barring COVID-19 “passports” that would show people have been vaccinated.

Florida's COVID-19 Death Toll Hits 35,000

Apr 16, 2021

The Florida Department of Health reported Friday that 7,296 people tested positive for COVID-19, which brought the seven-day total to more than 38,000 cases.

That's roughly 4,000 more cases than last week's total.

The greater Tampa Bay region recorded 1,607 cases on Friday, with 9,700 reported over the past week.

Nearly 130,000 coronavirus tests were returned on Thursday and the positivity rate for new cases was 6.8%. The state averaged a positivity rate of 7.38% for the week.

Associated Press file photo

The Mayo Clinic has put together a Q&A about the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) joint recommendation to pause distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after reported cases of rare blood clotting events in recipients.

Florida has put a halt to the administration of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines after the CDC and the FDA recommended a “pause” as they investigate reports of very rare, but potentially dangerous blood clots.

A syringe is filled with the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.
Mary Altaffer / Associated Press

Editor's Note:  Tuesday morning, following this story's Monday publication, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said they are recommending a "pause" in the use of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine out of an "abundance of caution" while an investigation is conducted into reports of apparently rare, potentially dangerous blood clots.

Original Post: Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines will be available at several pop-up sites around Northeast Florida this week, starting Tuesday at Lutheran Social Services in Jacksonville.

In this Saturday, April 18, 2020 photo, mortician Cordarial O. Holloway, foreground left, funeral director Robert L. Albritten, foreground right, place a casket into a hearse in Dawson, Ga.
Brynn Anderson / Associated Press

People whose loved ones have died from COVID-19 can get the federal government to help pay for a funeral.

Fla. Waives Standardized Student Testing Rules For Promotion, Graduation Due To COVID

Apr 9, 2021
News Service of Florida

Answering the question of how the state would handle standardized testing this year, the Florida Department of Education issued an emergency order Friday waiving accountability measures tied to state exams. 

JTA First Coast Flyer bus
John Burr / WJCT contributor

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority is offering free 1-day passes to anyone who wants a ride to a COVID-19 vaccination site in Jacksonville.

DeSantis Says Florida Suing Federal Government, Wants Cruises To Resume

Apr 9, 2021

Arguing that the state is at risk of losing billions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs, Gov. Ron DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody on Thursday filed a lawsuit against federal health officials for sidelining the cruise industry.

A syringe is filled with the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.
Mary Altaffer / Associated Press

Beginning Tuesday, Florida’s federally supported COVID-19 vaccination sites will provide only the one-dose Johnson & Johnson shots.

The vaccination center at Regency Square mall is pictured Monday.
Michelle Corum/WJCT News

Opening up vaccinations to every Floridian age 16 and above on Monday prompted long lines in some parts of the state, but not at Jacksonville’s largest site: the Gateway Town Center.

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken away the protection of many safety nets for millions of Americans -- with children particularly affected.

Places that are typically easily accessible for children to be cared for, such as schools, neighborhoods, family gatherings, and other public places are less of an option, leaving compromised children even more vulnerable.

DeSantis Issues Executive Order Blocking COVID 'Passports'

Apr 2, 2021
News Service of Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday issued an executive order barring government agencies from issuing COVID-19 “passports” and preventing Florida businesses from requiring customers to show documentation that they have been vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 before gaining entrance.

A large supply of COVID-19 vaccines from the federal government is expected to arrive in Florida next week.

It comes at the same time vaccine eligibility will be extended to those 18 and older, as well as teens who have parental consent.

However, there is a question as to whether the increased availability will be taken advantage of.

Florida is days away from expanding COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to adults of all ages and some teenagers. But months into rollout, there are still some hesitant to get shots.

Misinformation spread on social media and through word-of-mouth is partly to blame.

Health News Florida's Stephanie Colombini sifts through some popular vaccine myths with Dr. Kevin Sneed, dean of the University of South Florida's Taneja College of Pharmacy, to get the facts.

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured.
Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

St. Johns County announced Wednesday it is now accepting COVID-19 vaccination appointment preregistrations for Florida residents age 16 years and older to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

Clay County Fair Returns To Northeast Florida

Mar 30, 2021
A child leads a cow at the Clay County Fair.
Clay County Fair

After missing a year because of the coronavirus, the Clay County Agricultural Fair is back, with new safety precautions. 

Masks will continue to be required at the Florida Theatre for the foreseeable future.
Florida Theatre

Now that Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry has lifted Duval County’s mask mandate, the question becomes: what’s next?

Regency Square mall vaccination site
Sydney Boles / WJCT News

People who are 40 and older are now eligible for the coronavirus vaccine in Florida, and at Jacksonville’s two major vaccination sites, the lines were short when WJCT News stopped by  and people’s spirits were high. 

The Carnival Ecstasy is pictured docked at the JAXPORT Cruise Terminal in March 2020.
Bill Bortzfield / WJCT News

Florida is considering legal avenues to challenge federal guidelines that keep passenger cruise ships from sailing because of the COVID-19 pandemic, as efforts continue to convince the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to lift restrictions. Jacksonville is among the Florida cities where cruises have been halted since the pandemic.

Downtown Jacksonville skyline file photo.

Nearly $29 million in federal money will be distributed by the city of Jacksonville to help Duval County residents who may have been unable to pay their rent or utility bills due to a loss of income related to COVID-19.

Via Jacksonville Daily Record

The city issued a permit for construction of a Walmart Health clinic at the retailer’s Southwest Jacksonville Supercenter in Collins Plaza.


Presale tickets went on sale Thursday for an April 24 Ultimate Fighting Championship event that’s scheduled to be the first large-scale full-capacity sporting event planned in Jacksonville since the pandemic began. 

Gov. Ron DeSantis is pictured announcing new COVID-19 vaccination guidelines.
Gov. Ron DeSantis' office

Beginning Monday, March 29, everyone age 40 and older will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Florida.