DeSantis announces new actions to increase distribution of COVID-19 vaccine in Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced new actions the state of Florida is taking to expand access to COVID-19 vaccinations.

The governor announced four new initiatives on Monday, including the expansion of vaccine administration sites, the deployment of vaccines to underserved communities, adding additional staff to distribute the vaccine and the continued prioritization of long-term care facility residents.

 

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The Florida Division of Emergency Management and the Florida Department of Health will work together to identify COVID-19 testing sites that can be converted into vaccine distribution sites. The governor announced that information on new vaccination locations will be available in the coming days.

Community sites, like houses of worship, will be identified as locations in underserved communities that can be used as vaccine distribution sites. The state will also hire 1,000 contract nurses to support the expanded vaccination efforts and to work at some of the new vaccination sites.

Florida has prioritized long-term care facility residents throughout their vaccination effort, bucking from federal recommendations. Issues have arisen in the vaccine rollout process leaving many seniors confused as to when they could receive the vaccine. The Division of Emergency Management will work alongside CVS and Walgreens, who were contracted to administer vaccines to long-term care facility residents, to accelerate their distribution efforts.

DeSantis also told hospitals on Monday that they would not be given shots anymore if they did not distribute them fast enough.

Over 1.1 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Florida in recent weeks, nearly a quarter of all vaccines administered across the nation. The vaccine rollout has been slower than expected throughout the U.S. as local officials deal with logistical issues in distribution.