At the end of last week, Gov. Ron DeSantis provided an update on Florida’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution progress, highlighting steps the state is taking to increase vaccination sites and put Florida’s seniors first.
According to the governor’s office, among states that publicly report on vaccinations for seniors, Florida is the first state in the nation to vaccinate more than 500,000 individuals 65 years of age or older, accounting for nearly 60 percent of total vaccinations in the state. Due to reporting lags, this number serves as an estimate and clearly understates the total of seniors vaccinated.
DeSantis released a video message in which he said the following:
Hi, this is Governor Ron DeSantis.
Florida is putting “Seniors First,” and we are expanding Florida’s vaccination site infrastructure at a rapid pace.
In fact, as a result of Florida’s strategy, the CDC reversed course and is now following Florida’s lead and recommending that states prioritize seniors 65 and up for vaccine administration.
Florida has now vaccinated more than 500,000 seniors – far outpacing other states in the nation that are reporting updates on this critical effort.
This accounts for 60 percent of all Florida’s total vaccinations, and that percent is increasing with each week.
Federal supply remains limited, but when additional vaccine comes, we are ready to deploy those doses quickly.
Florida is home to 4.5 million seniors, and I’m not going to rest until every senior that wants a shot, gets a shot.
I was pleased to announce multiple expansions of my office’s partnership with Publix Super Markets.
Just this week, we announced over 50 new locations and we now have more than 100 Publix locations that are offering vaccines to seniors in their community, and there’s more to come.
In addition to Publix, we have been working collaboratively at all levels to increase vaccine access statewide.
This includes utilizing places of worship, state-run vaccination sites, deploying strike teams in partnership with the Florida National Guard to supplement federal long-term care facility efforts, and partnerships with senior living communities.
Once we receive next week’s distribution, we’ll be allocating additional supply to our higher-performing sites:
We have state-supported PODs, like drive-thru sites at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium and the Villages retirement community, that are performing well and will continue to be supplied.
We are also going to expand our partnership with Publix Supermarkets. We want to bring the vaccine to even more counties throughout the state of Florida at people’s local supermarket.
We are also going to continue to send vaccines to places of worship and utilize our communities of faith throughout the state.
Now, when additional doses of vaccine arrive, we are prepared to distribute the vaccine to wider populations.
To our seniors – we will continue to put you first.
Thanks, and God bless.