MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Thursday that Florida has vaccinated its 2 millionth person over the age of 65, and he spoke a little more about what we can expect moving forward with the vaccination program in the state.
Speaking in the Tampa area, the governors said that 42% of all senior citizens in Florida have received at least one vaccine dose, and that about 80% of vaccines given out in the state have gone to seniors.
He’s hopeful that approval for the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine by the end of this month will provide even more supply to go around.
DeSantis also acknowledged that the bad weather across the country is slowing down the delivery of Moderna vaccines, and those delays continued Thursday.
COVID-19 Vaccine Update: The state has been notified that federal deliveries of Moderna vaccine are still delayed by severe weather.— FL Division of Emergency Management (@FLSERT) February 18, 2021
The state is working closely with providers to reschedule appointments as needed & we will continue to provide updates as they are received.
“We are, though, getting more vaccine. We were at 325,000 last week, we’re going to have a net increase of 41,000 for the next week shipping,” DeSantis said. “Keep in mind the Moderna still have not shipped for this week. Normally those Moderna would be done today but because of the storm we’re seeing throughout the country it’s basically sitting in the FedEx warehouse. I don’t think they can get into everything.”
In another development, Jackson Memorial and other hospital systems in South Florida are working to figure out how to begin vaccinating people younger than 65.
Part of the emergency order from the state gives hospitals flexibility to vaccinate people who “they deem to be extremely vulnerable COVID-19″ even if they don’t fall under the senior citizen age group.
And now that demand has slowed for people 65 and older, they are starting to work on how to expand their efforts.
Local 10 News reached out to Jackson on Thursday, and they said they are working with state and local leaders on what an expansion would look like, and how they would implement it safely and in an equitable manner.
It comes as Florida inches closer to 30,000 deaths from COVID-19.
Watch a replay of DeSantis’ Thursday news conference below: