AVENTURA, Fla. — Members of the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic faiths in South Florida are coming together to help senior citizens get vaccinated against the deadly coronavirus.
Speaking in Aventura on Thursday, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the launch of the very first interfaith vaccination event in Florida.
More than 500 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are being distributed to 65 and older members of the Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center, Islamic Center of Greater Miami and Trinity Church in Miami.
"You have folks from all walks of life, all different faiths coming together," DeSantis said. "The fact that you have Jewish, Christian, Muslim coming together to do this, it's the right thing to do."
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More than 13,000 people have been vaccinated at more than two dozen places of worship throughout the state.
"Truly we are all in this together," said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. "I think it's really so important that we work across faiths to provide the comfort and care that our community needs during these very, very difficult times."
The governor also announced that Florida is allocating 750 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for homebound seniors who are Holocaust survivors.
"We're thankful for what they mean to this country and what they have done and how they remind us to never forget," DeSantis said.
It's all part of a new initiative in Florida to set aside 1,500 doses per week for homebound seniors who can't travel to receive the vaccine.
"We tried to get the vaccines out to folks in a convenient way, but not everyone can go to a drive-thru site. Not everyone can go to the hospital," DeSantis said. "And so we thought it was important to fill a niche."
According to the latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health, 1,788,326 people have received the COVID-19 vaccine in the Sunshine State, including 1,293,279 people who are 65 and older.
DeSantis said Florida is expecting a "modest but important increase" next week in its COVID-19 vaccine supply from the federal government.
In addition, the governor said the state is hoping to soon receive additional doses through the Federal Pharmacy Program, which may go to pharmacies at Walmart, Winn-Dixie, and Publix stores.
"That will be able to expand the footprint further, which would be very, very good for folks," DeSantis said.