LYNN HAVEN, Fla. (WMBB) — Gov. Ron DeSantis touted the various ways his administration is working to get the coronavirus vaccine out to seniors Sunday.
Gov. Ron DeSantis said he and his administration will work to identify local places of worship and other locations in underserved communities where the COVID-19 vaccine may be administered. The pilot program is expected to expand as the state continues to receive additional vaccine allocations.
DeSantis spoke at the Lynn Haven Senior Center and said the center would be administering 500 shots Sunday. He added that a quarter million seniors had already received their first dose of a two-dose vaccine across the state.
“We’re going to continue with the momentum,” he said.
DeSantis was flanked by State Senator George Gainer, R-Panama City, and CFO Jimmy Patronis.
Patronis noted that nearly every American knows someone who died from coronavirus and that many are still grieving.
“Our prayers are with them,” he said. The vaccine, “is a light at the end of a very, very dark tunnel.”
He also praised DeSantis leadership and said 900 people a day are moving to Florida from other states.
“You took the virus seriously and you took keeping Florida’s economy open seriously,” Patronis said.
DeSantis highlighted the state’s partnership with Publix and the work being done by county health departments, at drive-thru sites, and at hospitals. Even so, vaccine appointments across the state fill up minutes after they become available and in some instances, seniors waited overnight in cars for first-come-first-serve vaccination events.
“There’s way more demand from seniors than there is supply so far,” DeSantis said.
When asked about vaccinations for teachers DeSantis said the focus would remain on seniors as long as there was high demand and limited supplies. He noted that according to the medical data seniors are at the highest risk for death from the virus.
“It’s the morally right thing to do. It’s also the medically right thing to do,” DeSantis said. “We understand the data. We understand where the risk is.”