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'Our top priority:' Gov. DeSantis announces updated vaccine distribution plan

Posted at 7:38 AM, Dec 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-11 07:38:58-05

As a key FDA advisory panel recommended approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued an update on plans for vaccinating Floridians.

The governor was in Washington, D.C. this week for a meeting about vaccine distribution and Operation Warp Speed. He says Florida is set to receive 179,400 doses of the Pfizer vaccine in the first shipment which could arrive within the week.

"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," said DeSantis. "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."

As the vaccine supply increases, the governor says the goal is to get the vaccine to elderly Floridians, as well as those who may have significant health complications, making them high-risk for complications from COVID-19.

DeSantis says 97,500 of the initial doses will be sent to hospitals for high-contact and high-exposure health care personnel. 60,450 doses will go to CVS and Walgreens for use in long-term care facilities. The governor says both companies are under contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to administer vaccines inside those facilities.

DeSantis says 21,450 doses will go directly to the Florida Department of Health. 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.

This is just the first vaccine that the FDA is reviewing.

"We hope to have more good news about additional doses of both the Pfizer and hopefully, the newly approved Moderna vaccine, next week. And of course, we are looking forward to clinical trials concluding for Johnson and Johnson’s vaccine, which is a one-dose vaccine and does not require any special storage," said DeSantis.

You can watch the full video here.