DeSantis: General population could get vaccine access after 55+ group

Gov. Ron DeSantis during a press conference in Sumterville. (Copyright 2021 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

SUMTERVILLE, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis said all Florida residents will likely have access to the COVID-19 vaccine after those who are 55 and older get their shot.

Starting Monday, Florida residents 60 years old and older will be able to receive the vaccine at pharmacies and state-supported sites. In the next phase, DeSantis said, he will lower the age to 55-plus.

The next step, DeSantis said, will likely be to expand vaccination efforts to the general population.

“We got to get through the seniors, and then we’ll lower the age, and so we’re going to do that on Monday, and then we’ll lower the age to 55 in due time,” DeSantis said. “It’s all dependent on how we’re doing with getting the 60 to 64, but that will happen relatively soon. And then I think once we get all the 55 and up, and you probably could just open it up to the general public. At that point, there’ll be a lot. I think we’ll probably have it in every CVS and Walgreens by then, too, as we get more and more supply from the federal government, and as they expand the federal pharmacy program.”

DeSantis, who has received criticism for not publishing a step-by-step plan for the vaccine rollout, didn’t give a timetable for the changes.

The demand from seniors in Florida is decreasing and the federal vaccination sites throughout the state continue to see a low turnout of eligible people.

Shortly after DeSantis made the announcement Wednesday at a news conference in Sumterville, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced the state will expand COVID-19 vaccine eligibility starting Monday to everyone 55 and older, plus younger adults with serious health conditions.

Kemp said if vaccine supplies keep increasing, he wants to soon make them available to everyone 16 and older, which could happen as soon as April 1.

About the Author:

Digital reporter who has lived in Jacksonville for more than 25 years and focuses on important local issues like education and the environment.