‘Let’s focus on where the risk is’: 65+ age group top priority to receive COVID-19 vaccine, DeSantis says

Florida

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Governor Ron DeSantis reiterated Wednesday morning the importance of residents aged 65 and older to receive the COVID-19 vaccine during a press conference in Delray Beach.

DeSantis said the senior citizen population has “been most at risk for COVID. It’s impacted their lives greater and we have a responsibility to stand by those folks who’ve done so much to make our state and country what it is today.”

During the press conference, which took place at Kings Point Golf and Country Club, the governor said Palm Beach County health department will administer vaccines to 300 residents of Kings Point on Wednesday.

DeSantis said the best way for Floridians to receive the vaccine is through “county health departments in partnership with county emergency managers and then through the hospitals.”

He urged residents to be patient as counties will distribute their supply of vaccines depending on the needs of the community.

Prior to leaving the press conference, DeSantis was asked if he was going to receive a dose of the COVID-19. He expressed that the top priority now is the elderly population.

“I’m willing to take it, but I am not the priority. They’re the priority. I’m under 45 and so people under 45 are not going to be first in line for this,” he said. “When its my turn, I will take it… I want my parents, our grandparents to be able to get it… At the end of the day, let’s focus on where the risk is.”

The City of Delray Beach recently passed a resolution to extend the requirement of wearing masks in all businesses and outdoor spaces where social distancing is not possible. The city also announced on Dec. 23 a curfew from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. on New Year’s Day.

DeSantis’ press conference in Delray Beach comes one day after the Florida Department of Health reported the highest percent positive and positivity rate the state has ever seen.

In a news release, the state claims that the spike in percent positive and percent positivity could be “due to reduced hours and closures at doctor’s offices, public testing sites, and laboratories for the holidays” and says the numbers “should be interpreted with caution.”

“These reduced hours and closures have resulted in less people tested and delays in result processing and reporting which have impacted Florida’s daily testing number by nearly half,” the news release said. “As we continue to experience office closures and holidays through Jan. 4, 2021, it is possible that data may continue to be impacted over the coming days.”

Additionally, on Tuesday, DeSantis said in a press release that the state is preparing to receive 127,000 Moderna vaccine doses this week for county health departments and 54 hospitals that have not already received a shipment.

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