Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis anticipates every Florida adult having access to the COVID-19 vaccine before May 1.
DeSantis made the statement during a Tuesday morning news conference, one day after the state lowered the age eligibility to 50 and older. The Governor said Florida is ahead of schedule when it comes to vaccinating current residents, saying 40 states rank higher in COVID deaths among the elderly.
“What I tell people is that, in Florida, we are not mandating any vaccines for anyone,” DeSantis said while speaking outside a church in Pensacola. “But, these are good vaccines.”
DeSantis said Florida was able to receive 42,000 of the Johnson & Johnson one dose vaccines this week for distribution after initially saying the state would not receive any additional doses.
“We hope to get more (Johnson & Johnson) vaccines, although we’re not scheduled to get anymore,” he added. “But we weren’t scheduled to get any this week."
The new week saw two big changes and one problem at the FEMA-supported vaccination site at Miami Dade College North – the site’s registration system was briefly down on Monday.
The issue marked an otherwise well-ordered day for the new age group in the state’s vaccination effort.
Although vaccine eligibility saw an age drop from last week in Florida, demand has been soft at the site since it opened earlier this month due to the state’s slow expansion of guidelines.
Moving forward, the Northwest Miami-Dade site will offer 500 first doses every day through April 7.
Initially, staff said they would only administer booster shots beginning Wednesday to avoid confusion and long lines of residents due for a second shot and those looking for their first.
If eligibility expands to include nearly every Florida resident between now and the first week of April, the state says it is unaware how criteria or vaccine supplies could be affected.