Gov. Ron DeSantis made it clear during a news conference at the Villages on Tuesday, he was going to prioritize vaccination of Florida’s elderly community over essential workers, moving away from CDC recommendations. On Wednesday he made it official by signing an executive order that stated that the next group of people that will receive the COVID-19 vaccine will be Florida’s more than 4 million residents that are over 65 years old.
“We’re not going to put young healthy workers ahead of our vulnerable elderly population,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said at the Villages where some seniors received the coronavirus vaccine. “The vaccines are going to be targeted where the risk is the greatest and that is in our elderly population.”
Currently, hospital workers, first responders, residents of long-term care facilities, and other health-care staff are prioritized for the vaccination, but the Florida Governor said that will all change on the next round.
“Just understand what that would mean,” said the Governor. “If you’re a 22-year-old working in food service, let’s say at a supermarket, you would have preference over a 74-year-old grandmother. I don’t think that is the direction we want to go.”
The Governor said that county health departments throughout Florida will begin administering the vaccines to individuals over 65 possibly as soon as Monday.
After that, when more vaccine arrives, the priority will be law enforcement, firefighters and teachers, according to Governor DeSantis.