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Nearly 350,000 Florida seniors have gotten COVID-19 vaccine, governor says

'Putting seniors first was the right decision,' Gov. Ron DeSantis says
Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks in The Villages, Jan. 12, 2021
Posted at 8:55 AM, Jan 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-12 10:27:01-05

THE VILLAGES, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday that almost 350,000 seniors in Florida have gotten the COVID-19 vaccine.

DeSantis provided an update on the state's vaccine rollout during a news conference in The Villages, a retirement community in central Florida.

The governor has repeatedly spoken about putting residents 65 or older first on the list when it comes to receiving the limited supply of the vaccine. He reiterated that stance Tuesday.

"Putting seniors first was the right decision," DeSantis said, speaking at a vaccination site that he said is handling between 800 to 1,000 vaccines per day.

DeSantis said he only expects more seniors to receive the vaccine as the state receives an anticipated shipment of 250,000 doses.

"The vast majority of our total vaccinations are going to seniors, and that percentage is going to grow more disproportionate in favor of seniors as we get through the next many, many weeks," DeSantis said.

Gov. Ron DeSantis watches as nurse administers COVID-19 vaccine to Vera Leip in Pompano Beach, Dec. 16, 2020
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis watches as nurse Christine Philips, left, administers the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for COVID-19 to Vera Leip, 88, a resident of John Knox Village, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020, in Pompano Beach, Fla.

DeSantis also said he has urged the federal government to consider releasing more of the vaccine to fill the demand.

"What they've done up to this point is, anyone that's gotten the shot up to this point, there has been a shot that's basically held in reserve by the federal government, so when it's time for the booster, they then send the booster," DeSantis said. "So if a hospital's done 10,000 shots three weeks ago with Pfizer, they're gonna get 10,000 booster shots."

DeSantis said he remains committed to ensuring that Florida's senior population will be able to get the vaccine.

"If you can get Florida more, you know, we have the throughput to be able to get the shots in seniors arms," DeSantis said.