ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. (WESH) – Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings says he is unapologetic about his decision to allow those 40 and older to get COVID-19 vaccines at the Orange County Convention Center starting Monday.
Gov. Ron DeSantis says it’s not the mayor’s decision to make.
“It’s not his decision to make, there’s a structure in the state of Florida in terms of how these decisions are made,” DeSantis said.
During a press conference Friday morning in Tallahassee, the governor said he is not happy with Demings’ move to make the Orange County Convention Center a 40 and older vaccination site starting Monday.
“You know I would note, Orange County is below the state average in seniors vaccinated there at 63%. Trying to do healthy 40-year-olds, over finding maybe some more seniors, to me, would not be the direction that I would go,” DeSantis said.
However, the argument of lower demand and expanding to other ages is something that DeSantis has acknowledged statewide as he expands Florida’s age to 50 and over starting Monday.
Demings’ decision was made after seeing low turnout from already eligible age groups.
“I believe that what the other counties are experiencing with a high level of those who are 60 plus, or 50 plus having already been received vaccines within their respective counties, that 50% or better of their population. I don’t believe that with us making the adjustment to go to 40 is going to be problematic for us,” Demings said. “Do I need to get permission to do that? Told you before, I don’t feel like I have to get permission to be the mayor of Orange County from Tallahassee.”