TALLAHASSEE – Floridians 65 and older will be the first in the general population to be vaccinated against COVID-19, with the first doses being administered as soon as Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday.
DeSantis signed an executive order that ensured that older Florida residents would be the first in the general population to receive vaccines. Health workers and people in long-term care facilities most vulnerable to the virus are already being treated, and DeSantis said the state has already administered 70,000 shots.
Florida coronavirus cases by age group
Doctors say older people are at greater risk of developing severe symptoms of COVID-19, making Florida particularly vulnerable.
When more vaccines arrived, DeSantis said the state was ready to expand the vaccines to people over 65 years of age.
The treatments are being administered by hospitals and county health departments as early as Monday, but DeSantis did not say how people could sign up to be vaccinated. He said these details will be available closer to Monday.
“Carry with us,” he said.
However, these health departments do not include Tampa Bay on Monday. A spokesman for the Hillsborough County Health Department said vaccines for the area will be available “in the coming weeks” but they will not have them available Monday.
On Tuesday, DeSantis said it wanted to vaccinate the more than 3 million Floridians over the age of 70 over the next six weeks, giving them priority over key workers and younger people with underlying health conditions.
“The vaccines will be targeted where the risk will be greatest, and that is in our elderly population,” DeSantis said Tuesday. “We do not want to put young, healthy workers ahead of our elderly, vulnerable population.”