Florida teachers, police officers and firefighters ages 50 and over will be next in line to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, according to Gov. Ron DeSantis.
“I’ll be signing an executive order later today to expand vaccine eligibility to all sworn law enforcement officers age 50 and above, all firefighters age 50 and above, and all K-12 school personnel age 50 and above,” DeSantis said at a news conference Monday.
The governor did not go into further detail about how vaccinations for those groups will be handled, or when they can start receiving their first doses. He did not take any questions from reporters.
Last week, DeSantis signed an executive order to expand vaccine eligibility to Floridians younger than 65 with high-risk medical conditions.
DeSantis said Monday that 175,000 doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine could arrive in Florida this week. The doses would enough to cover all teachers, firefighters and police officers over 50 statewide.
The comments came Monday while the governor was discussing new bills that seek to limit Chinese influence in Florida’s colleges, and to prevent intellectual theft from state agencies, businesses and universities.
The bills would “bolster Florida’s law enforcement agencies to investigate and apply penalties for corporate espionage that benefits a foreign government,” DeSantis said.
The laws would also target Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Syria and Venezuela, DeSantis said.
“For far too long, the Communist Party of China and other foreign adversaries have been deliberate in their economic infiltration of other nations, the United States in particular,” said Governor DeSantis. “China has made it a mission to steal intellectual property from our businesses, our government, and our academic institutions – all to further fuel their global objectives. I’m pleased to be joined by Speaker Sprowls and legislative leaders to stand against these practices by placing necessary, strategic safeguards against China and foreign influence to protect Florida’s schools, governmental entities and more.”