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Doctor encouraged by Florida opening up COVID-19 vaccine to more people

Dr. David Dodson, an infectious disease specialist in West Palm Beach, speaks to WPTV on March 19, 2021.jpg
Posted at 3:55 PM, Mar 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-19 17:11:52-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis said that starting on Monday, more Floridians will have access to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Sitting inside the Capitol in Tallahassee, DeSantis on Friday loosened the age requirement for the COVID-19 vaccine, making it available to everyone 50 and older beginning Monday.

"You have people able to get appointments online much easier now than when the first crush started at the end of December. So we feel confident going to a 50-plus. Makes a lot of sense right now," DeSantis said.

Desantis said the vaccine rollout has been orderly and predicts the demand will increase once more people are eligible to make an appointment. He added the state can handle it with more distribution points.

"But I don't think it's going to be anything that's going to overwhelm," DeSantis said.

Just days ago on Monday, the ogvernor opened up eligibility to people 60 and older.

Doctors tell us right now that the goal is to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible.

"It's a good development, we're getting more vaccine and we're going to get more people vaccinated," said Dr. David Dodson, an infectious disease specialist at Good Samaritan Medical Center in West Palm Beach.

Dr. Dodson said the numbers are trending down, but the virus is becoming more contagious with new strains and variants spreading.

"The one thing we are worried about is we're starting to see pauses in the decrease," Dodson said.

So with vaccine supply ramping up, DeSantis his next step after age 50 is likely opening it up to all adults who qualify.

"We probably can just open it up to everybody. I can't tell you when exactly that will happen, but I can tell you it will definitely be before May 1st. That's not even a question," DeSantis said.

Dr. Dodson says the vaccines appear to be working, but with those variants spreading, herd immunity is a moving target and needs to be around 80% of the population vaccinated.