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Nearly 50% of Florida seniors have received COVID-19 vaccine, governor says

More than 2 million people ages 65 and older vaccinated, health officials say
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gives a COVID-19 update in Brooksville on Feb. 24, 2021.jpg
Posted at 10:51 AM, Feb 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-24 12:28:29-05

BROOKSVILLE, Fla. — Florida's governor said close to 50% of the Sunshine State's senior citizen population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Speaking at a new vaccination site at the High Point Community in Brooksville on Wednesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis said more than two million people ages 65 and older have received the vaccine.

"We're gonna be reporting fairly soon 50% of our massive 4.5 million senior population will have received a shot," DeSantis said. "This is really, really good progress."


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gives COVID-19 update in Hernando County

Because of that progress, the governor said that starting next week, Florida will be able to offer the COVID-19 vaccine to law enforcement personnel and teachers who are 50 and older at four federally operated vaccination sites in Miami, Tampa, Orlando, and Jacksonville.

"We think we can do that, given the additional vaccine, without it impinging on the senior population," DeSantis said.

Those FEMA sites are due to open on March 3 and will operate seven days per week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

"With those federal sites, that's additional vaccine beyond what Florida had been allocated," DeSantis said. "So it's not coming out of what we had been getting, or even any anticipated increases. That's purely a federal supply."

The governor added that once the demand starts to go down for the vaccine among senior citizens, Florida will lower the age for eligible residents to 60 and older or even 55 and older.

According to the latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health, 2,748,495 people have received the COVID-19 vaccine in the Sunshine State.