Seniors in South Florida will be getting new options for getting the COVID-19 vaccine at certain pharmacies starting Wednesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said at a news conference Tuesday in Hialeah.
DeSantis announced all 31 Navarro Discount Pharmacies in Miami-Dade County as well as all 35 CVS y Mas Pharmacies would begin to schedule appointments.
"This is gonna be really significant for this area," DeSantis said.
Additionally, four CVS locations in South Florida - one in Miami-Dade, two in Broward and one in Palm Beach - would also begin to schedule appointments Wednesday. DeSantis announced 15 locations across the state would schedule appointments, aiming to help underserved areas of the state.
Each site will be able to administer over 100 shots per day, DeSantis said. For more information visit CVS.com.
"Once appointments are made, vaccinations will begin later this week," DeSantis said at the news conference, where he was joined by several prominent Republican politicians from South Florida, including Lt. Gov. and Miami native Jeanette Nunez.
DeSantis praised efforts to get seniors the vaccine in South Florida, where efforts have gone from parks and churches to drive-thru efforts at sports venues.
"We did a big drive-thru effort at Hard Rock (Stadium), you have a great health care system that's done great," DeSantis said.
DeSantis said about 42% of seniors in Miami-Dade have received at least one shot.
"This pharmacy is going to be able to bring those numbers up, I think very quickly," he said.
The announcement comes as Jackson Health System will begin accepting reservations later Tuesday for those 55 years and older with specific conditions.
DeSantis defended his administration's plan for vaccinating seniors over the rest of the state's population, citing Broward County - a heavily Democratic county - leading the state in the number of vaccinations, with about 52% of seniors receiving one shot.
"I don't think it's an effective political tact to attack me for vaccinating seniors," DeSantis said. "We're proud of vaccinating seniors. We're going to keep doing it."
DeSantis said the state has given at least one shot to over 2 million seniors in the state out of about 4.5 million.
"That's the name of the game. We're trying to get the vaccine to those who it will be most impactful for," he said.
DeSantis said locations across the state should have received the most recent shipment of the Moderna vaccine Monday, which was delayed due to the severe winter storms across the country.
Publix canceled their online registration for a third straight time Monday over concerns regarding weather delaying shipments of the vaccine.
"The good thing about the CVS vaccine is that these are above the state's allotment," DeSantis said while urging patience from residents amid the delays.
DeSantis said the state has made vaccines available at close to 600 Publix stores, almost 120 Walmart and Sam's Club stores, and 42 Winn-Dixie stores.
In addition, the state has held 65 vaccine events at houses of worship in 18 counties, with about 50,000 vaccinations given.
Not everyone was happy at Tuesday's event in Hialeah. Mayor Carlos Hernandez attended the event but said he wasn't invited.
"I'm the mayor of Hialeah. As the governor I think he has the responsibility to speak to me regardless if he likes me or not, Hernandez said.