THE VILLAGES (WFLA) — Governor Ron DeSantis updated residents Monday on the state’s effort to vaccinate every senior in Florida.
DeSantis said nearly 30% of Florida seniors have received their first vaccine shot, amounting to about 1.25 million individuals. He said the state will be setting aside 1,500 doses this week for seniors who are homebound.
“Not everyone is in a position and not everyone has the same level of support … We’re trying to prevent people from falling through the cracks,” the governor said.
DeSantis said the federal government has increased Florida’s vaccine supply by 40,000 for the coming weeks, allowing them more flexibility when it comes to drive-through vaccination sites in senior living communities like The Villages.
“As the weather gets a little better, we’ll have the opportunity to see golf carts out there,” he said.
DeSantis also showed confidence in the Johnson & Johnson vaccine despite it being less effective than its two-shot rivals.
J&J said Friday that in the U.S. and seven other countries, the single-shot vaccine was 66% effective overall at preventing moderate to severe illness, and much more protective — 85% — against the most serious symptoms.
After 28 days, however, no one in the initial trials who got vaccinated died or needed hospitalization.
“If you have something that rules out fatalities, if you have something that rules out hospitalization, sign me up for that,” DeSantis said.
Florida rolled out its statewide preregistration site Friday for residents over 65 needing to schedule a vaccination. Residents can pre-register for vaccine appointments and be notified when appointments are available in their area by visiting myvaccine.fl.gov.