Miami Herald

De­San­tis says Florida can vac­ci­nate many more, but sup­ply isn’t there

- BY DAVID GOODHUE dgood­hue@flkeysnews.com David Goodhue: 305-923-9728, @DavidGood­hue

Gov. Ron De­San­tis said the pace in which peo­ple are be­ing vac­ci­nated in Florida is faster than the sup­ply of the doses com­ing into the state.

His re­marks Fri­day sig­naled a shift in mes­sage for the gover­nor from tout­ing the state’s abil­ity to rapidly vac­ci­nate a large num­ber of res­i­dents to ac­knowl­edg­ing that Florida’s in­fras­truc­ture is de­pen­dent on a sup­ply chain that he does not con­trol.

“If you look at a place like Hard Rock Sta­dium, they do a thou­sand a day. We can do two to three thou­sand a day if we had more vac­cine,” De­San­tis said dur­ing a press con­fer­ence in Key Largo.

He said that the state

re­ceived 266,000 doses last week and is ex­pect­ing the same amount to ar­rive next week.

“So, right now, we ba­si­cally have the same amount of vac­cine that’s in use is what it’s go­ing to

be next week, and we’re hop­ing for more,” he said.

Florida ini­tially re­ceived a ship­ment of more than 500,000 doses in the be­gin­ning of the year, but weekly ship­ments ever since have been much

smaller, the gover­nor said.

“We thought that this week com­ing up would be the week we would get plussed up. We’re hop­ing to get plussed up in the near fu­ture,” De­San­tis said.

Vac­cines are be­ing given at state-run sites, hos­pi­tals, churches as well as 250 Publix su­per­mar­kets statewide.

In terms of second doses for those who re­ceived the first shot, which is rec­om­mended by both com­pa­nies mak­ing the vac­cine — Pfizer and Moderna — many of those shots have not ar­rived yet, but De­San­tis said they should soon.

“What I would tell se­niors is, Florida is com­mit­ted to the two-dose reg­i­men for Pfizer and Moderna,” he said.

Florida’s vac­ci­na­tion plan has been to get it to res­i­dents 65 and over first. De­San­tis said that Fri­day morn­ing a 100-year-old World War II vet­eran was likely the mil­lionth per­son to re­ceive the jab.

Maybe he was, but more likely he wasn’t. Re­gard­less, his shot at the Pinel­las County Health Depart­ment in St. Peters­burg, was tele­vised and cel­e­brated as the one that cracked the 1 mil­lion mark. De­San­tis said there is about a 72-hour lag in the time be­tween when some­one re­ceives the shot and when it’s re­ported. As of Thurs­day night, De­San­tis said the of­fi­cial num­ber of peo­ple who have got­ten the vac­cine was more than 800,000.

“We re­ally be­lieve that over the next few days as the re­ports come in, we’ll ac­tu­ally cross one mil­lion 65-and-up that have got­ten shots in the state of Florida,” De­San­tis said.

Ac­cord­ing to the gover­nor, that is about 20% of the state’s 4.5 mil­lion se­nior cit­i­zens.

De­San­tis dis­missed a sug­ges­tion from the Bi­den ad­min­is­tra­tion that states should use the Fed­eral Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency to help dis­trib­ute the shots, say­ing for Florida, in­fras­truc­ture is not an is­sue.

“Get us more vac­cines,” he said. “We will use it and we will use it well, and a lot of se­niors will be happy we’re able to do it.”

 ?? DANIEL A. VARELA dvarela@mi­ami­her­ald.com ?? Florida Gov. Ron De­San­tis, speak­ing at a news con­fer­ence in Key Largo on Fri­day, said: ‘If you look at a place like Hard Rock Sta­dium, they do a thou­sand a day. We can do two to three thou­sand a day if we had more vac­cine.’
DANIEL A. VARELA dvarela@mi­ami­her­ald.com Florida Gov. Ron De­San­tis, speak­ing at a news con­fer­ence in Key Largo on Fri­day, said: ‘If you look at a place like Hard Rock Sta­dium, they do a thou­sand a day. We can do two to three thou­sand a day if we had more vac­cine.’

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