Governor Ron DeSantis COVID-19 vaccine update: ‘Our top priority is residents of long-term care facilities’

On Thursday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis provided an update on Florida’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan after returning from a Washington, D.C. meeting, which includes details on the state’s initial allocation of 179,400 doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

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“The federal government has allocated Florida 179,400 doses of the Pfizer vaccine for our first shipment and we anticipate receiving these initial doses within the week, DeSantis said.

“We are working to get as much vaccine for our citizens as possible, but Florida will not, nor will any state, have enough to vaccinate everyone right off the bat.

“So, we’ve set priorities to help protect our most vulnerable as well as those on the front lines of the pandemic.

“Our top priority is residents of long-term care facilities. They are at the greatest risk and this vaccine could have a positive impact on them, not just protecting them from COVID, but allowing them to return to a more normal life.

“Also, a top priority is health care workers who are in high risk and high contact environments. And those initial two priorities will be the focus of the 179,000 doses that we have initially received from the federal government.

“Finally, as the vaccine supply increases over the next few weeks, we want to start getting it out to our elderly residents as well as those who may have significant comorbidities, making them high-risk for complications from COVID-19.

“Now, in line with these priorities, the first round of the 179,400 doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be allocated as follows:

“97,500 doses will be sent to hospitals to administer vaccine to high-contact and high-exposure health care personnel.

“60,450 doses of vaccine will be sent to CVS and Walgreens for use in long-term care facilities. Both companies are under contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to administer vaccines inside those facilities.

“21,450 doses of vaccine will go directly to the Florida Department of Health. We will be using strike teams from Health, the Florida Division of Emergency Management, and the Florida National Guard to go into long-term care facilities and administer the vaccine in areas with a high concentration of facilities.”

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