WATCH: Distributing COVID-19 vaccine is a big undertaking, but Florida gov says state is ready

South Florida gets ready for possibility of quick delivery of coronavirus vaccine
South Florida gets ready for possibility of quick delivery of coronavirus vaccine

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – How will the vaccine be distributed? It’s a big operation.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said the vaccines will be distributed to hospitals, pharmacies, and the Florida Department of Health so they can get to the people who need it most.

If the FDA approves, the first batches of the coronavirus vaccine would come from a Michigan plant and be shipped across the country, including to South Florida.

DeSantis said that “the federal government has allocated Florida 179,400 doses of the Pfizer vaccine for our first shipment, and we anticipate receiving these initial doses within the week.”

(See Governor’s latest update)

The governor said the state’s top priorities are healthcare workers, residents of long-term care facilities, the elderly and people with underlying health conditions.

“We’ll be using strike teams from health, the Florida Division of Emergency Management and the Florida National Guard to go into long-term care facilities and administer the vaccine in areas with a high concentration of facilities.”

Residents at one assisted care facility in Hialeah are eagerly awaiting the vaccine.

“The feedback we’ve been getting from our residents has been overwhelmingly positive on the vaccine,” Roy Oro of Garden Walk Assisted Living said. “Can you imagine being locked up for the last 7 months of your life and not really understanding what’s going on?”

In a survey of Jackson Health employees last week, just under half said they will get the vaccine. About 36 percent said not this round, but they would consider in the future. Almost 15 percent said they’re not interested at all.

“If it’s approved today, you could start to see it be starting to ship between 24 to 48 hours and I know the hospitals are ready, the pharmacies are ready and the state of Florida is ready,” DeSantis said.

The federal government has allocated Florida 179,400 doses of the Pfizer vaccine for the state's first shipment (WPLG)

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