January 26, 2022

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Florida’s Seniors Next In Line For Coronavirus Vaccine: Report

FLORIDA — Gov. Ron DeSantis said that Florida’s next phase of coronavirus vaccinations will target the state’s elderly population, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

The governor laid out his latest vaccine distribution plan at UF Health in The Villages on Tuesday. A group of seniors were vaccinated during the press conference.

His announcement came as the Department of Health reported another 10,271 cases statewide Tuesday. This brings the Florida’s total number of coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic to 1,223,015.

DeSantis’ decision to shift gears and prioritize the vaccine for residents 70 and older goes against recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reports said. Florida is still in Phase 1a of distribution of the two vaccines approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. So far, the majority of these vaccine doses have been given to frontline health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities.

The CDC said that after health care employees and those in nursing homes, states should broaden their reach, rather than focus only on seniors, News 4 JAX reported.

The CDC recommends that first responders, U.S. Postal Service workers, grocery store employees and teachers get vaccinated next, reports said. After that, those between 65 and 74 should receive the vaccine, as well as individuals ages 16 to 64 with chronic medical conditions and a range of essential workers, including those in the food service industry, construction workers, bank tellers, IT and communications workers, the media and public safety workers, News 4 JAX said.

Despite CDC recommendations, each state decides for itself the order in which residents are vaccinated.

“In Florida, we’ve got to put our parents and grandparents first and that’s what we’re going to be doing,” DeSantis said during Tuesday’s press conference. “And we’re going to work like hell to be able to get all the vaccines out to elderly who want it.”

He added, “We are not going to put young, healthy workers ahead of our elderly vulnerable population,” he continued.

This article originally appeared on the Sarasota Patch

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