JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — In just weeks, Florida will likely open up the COVID-19 vaccine to more residents in the general population.
Speaking at a new vaccination site at Edward Waters College in Jacksonville on Thursday, Gov. Ron DeSantis said he expects to lower the age of eligible residents next month.
"Without question, barring any problems with the vaccine distribution, you're gonna see the age lower at sometime in March. For sure," DeSantis said.
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According to the latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health, 2,115,581 people ages 65 and older have received the COVID-19 vaccine in the Sunshine State, which represents nearly 50% of Florida's 4.5 million senior citizens.
The governor said that once the demand softens among seniors and more supply of the vaccine comes in, Florida will lower the age of eligible residents.
"Once we get to the point of the senior population where we start to see the demand go down, then we obviously are going to lower the age and get people, at a minimum 60, and then maybe even 55 right off the bat," DeSantis said on Wednesday in Hernando County. "It really is dependent on making sure we have the supply."
The governor added that starting next week, Florida will begin offering 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.
"I think we can do the law enforcement and the classroom teachers, just given some of the additional vaccines, without really impacting the 65," 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.