FEMA vaccine sites saw ‘tepid’ demand across Florida, governor says

Walgreens locations now offering vaccinations

CRYSTAL RIVER, Fla. – The four FEMA COVID-19 vaccination sites now open across Florida saw a “tepid” demand on their first-day operation, according to Gov. Ron DeSantis.

“I think that they had the capacity to do about 12,000 shots. I think they did about 6,500. And so you know, that’s just the first day you’ll we’ll see how that goes as we go forward,” DeSantis said. “But obviously, that’s additional vaccine to what we’re already getting. So we’re very much appreciative of having more vaccine here.”

The four sites opened Wednesday in Tampa, Jacksonville, Miami and in Orlando at Valencia College.

DeSantis talked about the slow response from the public during a news conference Thursday morning in Crystal River.

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CVS announced on Wednesday that it is vaccinating Florida teachers under the age 50, circumventing state orders limiting coronavirus inoculations to those over that age.

The chain also began vaccinating day care and preschool teachers, although DeSantis has not yet opened the vaccination program to them.

CVS said it is following Biden administration guidelines, which allow day care workers, preschool teachers and educators in elementary, middle and high schools to be vaccinated with no age limit.

“The federal government put that order in and so that they’ve made the teachers regardless of age eligible, so they are eligible to get vaccinated for that order,” DeSantis said. Our view is, if you’re 25, you’re just at less risk than somebody that’s at that’s just the bottom line 95.7% of all COVID related mortality has been above the age of 50. And so the age-based approach, we think is the most effective to reduce mortality. You know, at the same time, federal government’s the one sending us the vaccine, if they want it to be for all ages, then they have the ability to go and do that. And so the pharmacies are obviously going to accommodate that, these sites will accommodate that.”

For teachers, Florida limits the vaccine to educators 50 and older who work in kindergarten through 12th grade.

CVS is giving inoculations in two dozen cities across the state.

The governor also announced two Walgreens locations in Citrus County will now be offering vaccinations.

“Beginning today, you can visit walgreens.com and click COVID vaccine information to schedule an appointment,” DeSantis said.

News 6 has reached out to Walgreens to see how many locations across the state are offering vaccinations. This story will be updated when the company responds.

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