A new group of residents age 60 and older across the state of Florida are getting a chance to get their first doses of the COVID vaccine starting Monday.
The state lowered the age of eligibility to 60, adding to the list of specific groups eligible to include:
- - Long-term care facility residents and staff
- - Healthcare workers
- - School employees grades K-12 ages 18 and older
- - Police and firefighters ages 50 and older
- - Residents with health risks that bring proper state documentation
Two FEMA run sites remain open in North Miami Beach (Allen Park Community Center at 1770 Northeast 162nd Street) and Miami Springs (Miami Springs Community Center at 1401 Westward Drive) through Wednesday. Officials have not said if they will remain open or move to a new location.
Click here for a list of vaccination locations across Miami-Dade and Broward
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said last week the state will soon lower the age to 55 and then probably open it up to the rest of the population. The governor said 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.
“It’s all dependent on how we are doing with getting the 60 to 64 (age group). But that will happen relatively soon," DeSantis said. “As we know, a 60-year-old is less at risk than an 80-year-old, but a 60-year-old is more at risk than a 20-year-old. So I think it is important that we are able to get the 60 to 64."
The state offered the vaccines to people age 65 and older when vaccines became available in December.
The latest Department of Health statistics show that statewide, roughly 4,204,200 people have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. About 2,323,400 have complete their shot regiment, whether it is the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, or the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna options.
Florida has more than 21.4 million residents, including 17.7 million residents who are age 16 and up and would be eligible for at least one of the vaccines if there were no age restrictions imposed by the state.