Governor Ron DeSantis highlighted Florida’s strong momentum on vaccinating seniors age 65 and older and is against President Biden’s plan for opening up mass vaccination sites around the state.
“I saw some of this stuff Biden’s putting out, that he’s going to create these FEMA camps. I can tell you, that’s not necessary in Florida,” DeSantis said. “All we need is more vaccine. Just get us more vaccine.”
“What we don’t want is, tourists, foreigners” getting the vaccine in Florida, DeSantis said during a news conference Tuesday in Viera, where he came to announce that 22 Publix stores in Brevard County will be offering the vaccine.
Since the beginning of the public health emergency, Governor DeSantis has put Florida’s Seniors First.
“We want to put seniors first, but we obviously want to put people that live here first in line,” DeSantis said. “And that can include people that live here half the year. But it’s not for people that are just visiting.”
Florida was the first state in the nation to vaccinate more than 500,000 individuals 65 years of age or older and is one of only three states to administer vaccines to more than one million people.
According to publicly available age demographic data, Florida continues to have the highest percentage of vaccines administered to seniors 65 and older, with vaccinations in that age bracket accounting for nearly 65% of total vaccinations in the state. Due to delays in reporting, this number may not reflect all vaccines administered to date.
“Florida remains steadfast in our commitment to putting Seniors First and the numbers speak for themselves,” said Governor DeSantis. “Out of total vaccines administered in our state, nearly 65% have gone to our seniors. As we deploy vaccines we will continue to harness innovative strategies and partnerships to maximize distribution and availability to keep Seniors First.”
The targeted approach of vaccinating Florida seniors is a direct result of key efforts by Governor DeSantis to ensure access to vaccine sites for those 65 and older:
- Governor DeSantis led the way in prioritizing vaccine access to Florida’s seniors, and as a result, Florida was the first state to put Seniors First. The federal government is now recommending that states prioritize vaccine access to seniors age 65 and older.
- This week, Governor DeSantis announced the expansion of the state’s partnership with Publix to establish COVID-19 vaccination sites at an additional 137 Publix locations, for a total of 242 Publix locations in 18 counties. For a list of all vaccination sites at Publix locations in Florida, click HERE.
- In total, more than 70 vaccination sites have been opened statewide in partnership with local communities and hospitals. Find the full list HERE. In addition to Publix, the State has worked collaboratively at all levels to increase vaccine access statewide to include utilizing places of worship, hospital partnerships and state-run vaccination sites.
- Under Governor DeSantis’ direction, the Florida Division of Emergency Management continues to work to administer vaccines in more than 4,000 long-term care facilities across the state. These efforts are supplementing and accelerating the vaccinations being undertaken by CVS and Walgreens, pursuant to their agreement with the federal government and reaffirms Florida’s commitment to prioritize vaccine access to our most vulnerable populations. The state is expecting to finish this mission by the end of the month.
- Governor DeSantis reaffirmed the state’s commitment to the two-dose regimen for both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, despite discussions happening at the federal level regarding vaccine allocations. His statement is available HERE.