Governor DeSantis announces four new actions to increase COVID-19 vaccinations and prioritize seniors

Press release from the Office of Governor Ron DeSantis

Yesterday, Governor Ron DeSantis announced four new actions the state is taking to continue its proactive approach to increase vaccinations and reaffirmed his commitment of putting Florida’s Seniors first. The Governor made the announcement during visits to Orlando Health in Seminole County and Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.

Governor DeSantis’ press conference at Orlando Health can be found HERE and at Jackson Memorial Hospital HERE.

The four new actions the Governor announced today are listed below, with more information available HERE.

1) Expanding access to vaccine with additional state-supported sites.

Governor DeSantis has directed the Florida Division of Emergency Management to work with the Florida Department of Health to identify state-run COVID-19 testing sites that can convert into vaccine sites. Additional information regarding the locations of these sites will be available in the coming days.

2) Deploying the vaccine into underserved communities.

Governor DeSantis has directed the Florida Division of Emergency Management to identify places of worship and other locations in underserved communities where the vaccine may be administered. Florida has already begun a pilot program in Escambia County, where over 500 seniors have received their vaccine and have been scheduled for their booster shot, which they will receive at the same location.

3) Reinforcing vaccination efforts with additional staff.

Governor DeSantis has directed the Florida Division of Emergency Management to immediately hire 1,000 contract nurses to support vaccination efforts. These nurses will be deployed throughout the entire state to help run vaccination sites, including public sites run by the state or counties and private sites such as South Seminole Hospital. These nurses will supplement the many personnel already in the field, including 800 Florida National Guardsmen, who have been supporting the state’s response since the beginning of the pandemic.

4) Continuing to prioritize long-term care facility residents.

There is no time to waste to vaccinate Florida’s most vulnerable residents. Governor DeSantis is directing the Florida Division of Emergency Management to assume additional responsibilities regarding the administration of vaccines in Florida’s over 3,000 assisted living facilities, supplementing and accelerating the efforts being undertaken by CVS and Walgreens, pursuant to their agreement with the federal government.