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UM Doctor Says 'We Cannot Stop Masks' Just Because The COVID Vaccine Is Here

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Pfizer coronavirus vaccine is here, and Dr. Olveen Carrasquillo with University of Miami Health System plans to get his first injection Tuesday.

"It's important that we get it as health care workers because we don't want to spread it to any of our patients," he said.

Gov. Ron DeSantis expects 180,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine this week. It requires two injections, 21 days apart to be effective.

While in Tampa Monday, the governor said that second one, which is a booster, isn't here just yet.

"Every vaccine that hits, there is a corresponding booster that is being withheld. They didn't want to send it all, smartly," Gov. DeSantis said.

More vaccine from the company is on the way, but the state may be getting a little less than previously expected from Pfizer.

"We were going to get several hundred thousand each the next two weeks of the Pfizer. Now, we don't know. They have kind of dialed it back. I think they're working through some production issues," DeSantis said.

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Next week, it's likely the state will also receive vaccine from Moderna, if approved for emergency use authorization Thursday.

"Start, hopefully, as kind of the frontline healthcare workers have this available, to start getting it out to some of the elderly population outside of long-term care facilities," the governor said.

The governor expects a large shipment from Moderna – roughly 365,000. This one also requires a booster shot, after 28 days, to be effective.

Early next year, it's likely Johnson and Johnson's vaccine will be approved. That one is just one dose. If approved and widely available, it's expected many people will get that one. It's also easier to keep fresh than Moderna, which requires a really cold temperature. Pfizer's vaccine requires the coldest temperature out of all three.

"Moderna doesn't require quite as extraordinary of storage. The J and J vaccine, which we hope will happen in the new year, either January or February, that is just basic refrigeration and it's just one dose," the governor said.

Right now, it's unclear when expectant mothers and children will get the green light. But the UM doctor said current data shows the vaccine is safe, no matter the race.

"We really want to get ourselves out of this. Just heard 300,000 deaths. So, we got to get out of it and us making sure we all get the vaccines, including minority populations critically important," Dr. Carrasquillo said.

Now that we have the first vaccine in Florida, Dr. Carrasquillo said don't let your guard down just yet.

"We cannot stop masks. We cannot stop all those measures. We still need a few more months," the doctor said.

University of Miami Health plans to wrap up the first part of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine study this week.

As for Gov. DeSantis, he expects up to a million doses of vaccine in Florida this month.

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