Florida Gov. DeSantis on COVID Vaccine “Florida is Putting Seniors First”

Today, during a press conference at Orlando Health in Seminole County, Governor Ron DeSantis announced four new actions the state is undertaking as it enters the fourth week of a proactive approach to increase vaccinations, especially for Floridians 65 and older.

Governor DeSantis said, “Florida is putting Seniors First and I’m pleased to announce four new actions that will continue our proactive approach to offering the vaccine to Floridians 65 and older, as well our continued efforts to vaccinate frontline health care workers and long-term care facility residents. Partnerships with Florida hospitals remain critical to our efforts, but this alone is not enough to reach our vaccination goals.

“To that end, I am directing the Florida Division of Emergency Management to partner with the Florida Department of Health to identify additional sites to administer the vaccine and to be open 7 days per week, including the conversion of state-supported testing sites and partnerships with places of worship in underserved communities. I am also directing the Division to hire additional nurses to support these sites and accelerate vaccinations in Florida’s over 3,000 assisted living facilities. We will continue to build on these efforts in the coming weeks.”

The Governor was joined at today’s event by Orlando Health CEO David Strong, State Senator Jason Brodeur, and State Representative Scott Plakon, where he also helped kickoff the opening of Orlando Health’s seven new community vaccination sites.

STATE OF FLORIDA VACCINE ACCOMPLISHMENTS TO-DATE

The opening of hospital vaccination sites along with these four new actions are a timely complement to our first three weeks of vaccinations, which included the following accomplishments:

Florida was the first state in the nation to:

  • Begin offering vaccines to staff and residents of our over 4,000 long-term care facilities.
  • Begin offering vaccines to EMTs and paramedics; and
  • Mobilize our county health departments and county emergency managers to actively vaccinate seniors in the community.

Week One

  • Five pilot hospitals received an allocation of the Pfizer vaccine for frontline health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities. At the Governor’s direction, they shared with neighboring hospitals.
  • The Governor directed the Florida Department of Health, Florida Division of Emergency Management and Florida National Guard to mobilize EMS strike teams to immediately begin offering vaccines to staff and residents of long-term care facilities to supplement Operation Warp Speed partner efforts a week ahead of schedule.
  • Florida offered vaccines to all staff and residents at over 100 facilities in Pinellas and Broward Counties in just 6 days.

Week Two

  • Florida received the first shipment of the Moderna vaccine, which was immediately sent to over 170 hospital locations that spanned the entire state.
  • The Governor also signed an executive order to give next vaccination priority to seniors over the age of 65, as well as highlighting the start of CVS and Walgreens’ administration of vaccines at long-term care facilities.

Week Three

  • Florida remained full speed ahead at vaccinating the state’s most vulnerable residents and sent doses of vaccine to all 67 county health departments.
    • Florida received over 127,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine and distributed doses to the remaining county health departments and hospitals that had not received the vaccine to-date.
  • Florida received over 118,900 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which is being used to administer the second dose at the original five pilot hospitals, and long-term care facilities in Broward and Pinellas Counties who received their first dose through Florida Department of Health and Florida National Guard strike teams.

Week Four (Underway)

  • As Florida enters Week Four, Governor DeSantis’ administration is taking the necessary steps to ensure the vaccine – that is now present in every corner of the state – gets administered as quickly as possible.


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