Florida governor looks to open eligibility to everyone after people over 55 receive vaccine

No timeline given for increased vaccine eligibility beyond 60 and older

SUMTERVILLE, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis suggested Wednesday that incremental increases in COVID-19 vaccine eligibility would stop after people who are 55 and older were inoculated.

“I think once we do, once we get all the 55 and up, and you probably could just open it up to the general public, at that point,“ DeSantis said while speaking at a vaccine site at Lake-Sumter State College’s Sumter Campus on Wednesday.

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This comes after the governor announced on Monday that the state would expand eligibility to people 60 and older starting on March 15. DeSantis did not give a timeline for when Florida would expand eligibility to those 55 and older.

“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,” he said. “It’s all dependent on how we’re doing with getting the 60 to 64, but that will happen relatively soon.”

DeSantis also predicted that all CVS and Walgreens locations would be offering the vaccine by the time the state opened up eligibility to the general public.

“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 their federal pharmacy program.”

At the same time, Florida is once again seeing an increase in supply when it comes to Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.

Florida is slated to receive 281,970 doses of Pfizer next week. When combined with the 208,000 doses of Moderna, the state is slated to receive nearly half a million doses of a coronavirus vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracking information.

The CDC has not posted new allocation information about Johnson & Johson single-dose vaccine.

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About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.