COVID-19 vaccines

Nearly Half of Florida's Seniors Have Received Vaccine Shot: DeSantis

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Nearly half of Florida's 4.5 million seniors have received a COVID-19 vaccine shot, as the state works to make more doses accessible to the elderly, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday.

Gov. Ron DeSantis held a news conference at High Point Community in Brooksville, where a new vaccination site was opening for seniors 65 and older.

The site is one of many that have opened in the state to help bring vaccines to seniors who have yet to receive a shot at one of the state-run sites or retail sites in the state where they are being distributed through appointments made online.

DeSantis acknowledged there are limitations to offering appointment sign-ups online to seniors.

"If you're 80 years old, not everyone is technologically savvy," DeSantis said. "If you're tech savvy on Publix, or any of these other ones, you get in, you make an appointment, people are very happy with that but not everyone can make an appointment, it's sometimes difficult to do, they fill up very quickly, so we want to try to provide as many opportunities as possible."

DeSantis said senior centers and communities like the one in Brooksville help bridge that technology gap.

"Because the community works to sign people up, that really does take some of the burden off some of those concerns about technology," he said.

On Tuesday, the governor announced all 31 Navarro Discount Pharmacies in Miami-Dade County and all 35 CVS y Mas Pharmacies would begin to schedule appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations.

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. Another 15 CVS locations across the state would schedule appointments, aiming to help underserved areas of the state.

Those retail sites are in addition to sites at Publix, Walmart and Sam's Club, and Winn-Dixie.

DeSantis said with more locations opening and hopefully more doses flowing into the state, availability will increase.

"If you're a senior and you haven't been able to get an appointment, and you haven't gotten through, just hang in there cause there's going to be a lot of availability I think very soon," DeSantis said. "We are not stopping on this."

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