coronavirus vaccine

Florida Could Open Up COVID-19 Vaccines to All in April: DeSantis

"If the supply floodgates really open, we could be in a position sometime in April where it's just available and people can get it," DeSantis said

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Florida could make COVID-19 vaccines available to most people in the state in April, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Thursday.

At a news conference Thursday morning in Lake City, DeSantis said that after the state makes people 60 and older eligible for the COVID vaccine on Monday, it will soon lower the age to 55 and then probably open it up to the rest of the population.

"We could be in a situation, go down to 60 on Monday, we get to 55 relatively soon, and then if the supply floodgates really open, we could be in a position sometime in April where it's just available and people can get it," DeSantis said.

The governor said that the process of vaccinating those between 60 and 64 may go quicker than expected because of the increase in the weekly supply the state is receiving. He said that each 5-year age group adds nearly 2 million people in population eligible for the vaccine.

"That's really exciting cause if you go back to the beginning of January when we were getting 230,000 doses a week for a state of 22 million people with 4.5 million seniors, that's a much different situation than where we were just a few weeks ago," DeSantis said.

Around 3 million of the state's seniors have received at least one shot, DeSantis said.

The governor added that he expects demand to go up slightly as the state lowers the eligibility.

"I don't think it's gonna be like the end of December, beginning of January when it was like the iPhone times ten coming out to get these appointments. I don't think it's gonna quite be that way, but I do think you're gonna see some pent up demand for folks in that 60 to 64 age group," DeSantis said.

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