Supplies are growing, but doses of the COVID-19 vaccines are still relatively limited in Florida.
So, after relaying the state’s priorities several times over the past week Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday put them in black and white.
He signed an executive order, aiming to ensure that all of Florida’s senior citizens are first in line to get vaccinated once the most vulnerable people are protected.
What You Need To Know
- Executive order puts people 65+ at the front of the line
- CDC suggests prioritizing people 75 and up, then vaccinating all seniors and essential workers
- DeSantis says he will not get vaccinated until vulnerable populations are protected
“Our seniors our going to be our first priority in the general community to receive the COVID vaccine. As you know, we focused the initial week and now into this week with the hospitals on long-term care residents, staff of long term care facilities and the front line health care workers, doctors and nurses, who are dealing with coronavirus patients day in and day out,” DeSantis said at Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola.
“We think that’s very, very important for reducing mortality, reducing the number of people who need to be hospitalized from COVID-19.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that people 75 years and older be next in line behind the initial rounds of vaccinations. DeSantis says his executive order puts everyone 65 years and older in that category.
The CDC also suggests putting young essential workers at the same priority level as people between the ages of 65-74. DeSantis says that’s what will happen in Florida.
“The problem is people that are 73, 74 would be in the back of the line for a young, 21-year-old worker who’s considered, quote ‘essential’ – that doesn’t, I think, make sense. So for us in Florida, we’re making it clear in this executive order that our first priority for the general population – once the nurses, the doctors and the long-term care facilities are done – is to vaccinate people 65 and up,” DeSantis explained.
But age is not the only factor being taken into account.
“We also say for hospitals, regardless of age, if there’s somebody extremely vulnerable to COVID, then obviously use your medical judgment on that,” DeSantis said. “So, if you have a cancer patient of something, of course we want to give hospitals the ability to do it.”
As for whether or not the 42-year-old governor will get vaccinated before some of Florida’s more vulnerable residents. DeSantis promised that won’t happen.
“In terms of elected officials jumping the line – you’re not going to see that with me,” DeSantis stated.