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DeSantis Gives Update On COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

A worker sticks a syringe into the arm of an elderly woman.
Wilfredo Lee
AP Photo
A healthcare worker is inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccine, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at John Knox Village in Pompano Beach, Fla. Ninety residents and 80 staff members received their second shot of the vaccine Wednesday and 50 new staff members received their first round of the vaccine.

State-run health departments will continue inoculating seniors until more COVID-19 vaccine doses become available. Gov. Ron DeSantis says when demand lessens and supply becomes more available, other groups like teachers can hopefully gain access to the vaccine.

So far, 22,804 Florida residents have died from the coronavirus. Seniors aged 65 and older make up 18,918 of those deaths.

"And so, by focusing on 65 and plus, that is the best thing we can do to reduce both morbidity and mortality from the coronavirus," Gov. Ron DeSantis says.

He is under increasing pressure to provide vaccines to essential workers, like teachers. DeSantis says if the COVID-19 vaccine from the company Johnson and Johnson gets approved for emergency use, officials could give those doses to the general population.

"That is a one-dose vaccine, you don't got to put it in the freezer like you do the Pfizer or even the Moderna, and that would be widely, I think distributed. So, that would be the easiest thing for a lot of people in the workforce," DeSantis says.

Next week Florida is scheduled to get 250,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses, but DeSantis says the state will burn through those fast.

WFSU has compiled a list of where seniors can get vaccinated in the Big Bend.