JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Now that teachers of all ages are able to get COVID-19 vaccine shots at the federally-supported vaccination sites in Florida, the question now is what age bracket is next?
During a news conference Thursday in Crystal River, Gov. Ron DeSantis addressed the issue of age and the vaccine.
While only the age requirement for teachers has been dropped for now, DeSantis speculated on what will happen when age restrictions are lifted for the entire population.
“I think there is going to be a much less percentage of 25-year-olds that want it then 75-year-olds, and honestly that’s sensible because the risk is much different,” DeSantis said. “So I don’t think you’re going to get above 50% of people that are under 50, and I think it may even be less than that.”
Right now the governor says 54% of all seniors in the state have received at least one shot of the vaccine.
DeSantis described the demand on the first day at the four federal sites as “tepid,” saying they used about 6,500 of a possible 12,000 doses at the sites, which include the one at Gateway Mall in Jacksonville.
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Also on Thursday, vaccinations continued for those that met the governor’s requirements, which now include teachers of all ages. Carol Beckner, who teaches at Trinity Christian Academy on Jacksonville’s Westside, was one of those teachers who got vaccinated Thursday at Normandy Community Center -- one of two satellite vaccination sites in Jacksonville.
“I want my students to be safe, so I think it’s very important,” Beckner said
Betty Johnson, 81, got vaccinated Thursday at the Gateway Mall site even though she was reluctant to do so. She said something recently happened that made her change her mind
“One of my neighbors Son died (from COVID-19). He was a young man,” she told News4Jax. “So it kind of pushed me, so I am here.”
The Gateway Mall site can administer 2,000 shots a day, while the two satellite sites can administer 1,000.
By the end of the day Thursday, about 840 vaccinations had been administered at the Gateway Mall site, approximately 150 were administered at Normandy Community Center and approximately 29 were given at Hammond Senior Center, which is the other satellite site.
The governor also talked about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Thursday, saying he believes younger people will prefer that because it only requires one dose. As for the distribution of that vaccine, DeSantis said he would have more information on that soon.