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Vaccine: Under 65 should be able to get COVID shots next month

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Vaccine

The vaccine to be available by next month

Vaccine for the coronavirus to be received by Floridians under the age of 65 thresholds by next month said, Governor Ron DeSantis. He also said that the shots should be widely available sometime in April.

However, Governor Ron DeSantis did not offer specific lower age, neither did he specify what percentage of seniors would have to be vaccinated before the younger population could be immunized against the coronavirus.

Currently, only people 65 and older, front-line health care workers, and residents, and staff of long-term-care facilities are eligible for the shots being distributed through the state.

Governor Ron DeSantis cited state data indicating that 47% of the roughly 4.5 million Floridians aged 65 and above have already received at least one of the two recommended doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines. Since the data reporting sometimes lags several days behind the vaccinations, he said that figure now probably has exceeded 50%.

According to the Florida Department of Health, there have been 79,833 people vaccinated in Brevard County so far. That includes 42,311 who have received just the first dose, and 37,522 who have received both doses of the two-dose series. The doses are recommended to be given 21 or 28 days apart, depending on the vaccine manufacturer.

Vaccine distribution centers

Moreover, Governor Ron DeSantis also disclosed that there are several new permanent sites to distribute coronavirus vaccines, including a community center in Kissimmee. Each center will be able to offer at least 200 shots per day, he said.

The new sites are within Black and Hispanic communities, which comes after the governor received criticism for targeting several white and wealthy communities for vaccination “pop-up” centers.

Eligibility of vaccine

In regards to lowering the eligibility age from 65, “As soon as we’re in a situation where the seniors are being taken care of, we’re going to look to do that,” Governor Ron DeSantis said at a press conference at Edward Waters College in Jacksonville. Furthermore, Governor Ron also said that any additional increase in eligibility would have to wait until enough seniors were vaccinated.

“If you expand it to 55, that’s millions and millions of people, and so then we’d end up having the jam and all that stuff again,” DeSantis said. “So it’s going to happen, I would say, without question, barring any problems with the vaccine distribution, you’re going to see the age lower at some time in March, for sure. And as soon as we have the metrics to justify it, we’re going to let people know.”

The state’s seniors-first policy has been so strict that when Walmart began distributing shots via a federal program, it abruptly ended a policy of allowing shots for people below 65 with underlying conditions.

DeSantis has avoided saying exactly what the percentage of seniors vaccinated would have to be reached before lowering the age. Currently, about 47% of them have been received the vaccine, and DeSantis has acknowledged that many might not want to get the shots or go out of their way to get them.

With the expected federal approval of the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, he added, along with increases in Moderna production, “As we get into April, is not going to be very difficult for people to be able to get. I think the supply is going to be very robust.”

According to the Florida Department of Health’s report as of 26th February 2021, around 79,833 people vaccinated in Brevard County so far. That includes 42,311 who have received just the first dose and 37,522 who have received both doses of the two-dose series. The doses are recommended to be given 21 or 28 days apart, depending on the vaccine manufacturer.

People who want to register online for appointments for vaccines from a Department of Health site off Judge Fran Jamieson Way in Viera site should go to myvaccine.fl.gov.

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Written by Kelly Smith

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