DeSantis: COVID-19 vaccine will open to 50+ Monday

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has opened COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to residents 50 years old and up starting on Monday, March 22.

Alachua County residents can register for the vaccine by clicking here.

“We think on current vaccine allotments, demand has been relatively modest,” DeSantis said at a Friday press conference in Tallahassee.

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“This makes sense,” he said, adding it might be possible that the vaccine will be available to all Florida residents before May 1.

DeSantis said another batch of single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine became available and he was planning a massive outreach with that vaccine but supplies can be zero on some days and thousands on others.

As of Friday, DeSantis said 3 million senior citizens in the state have been vaccinated and that adds up to 70 percent of the 65 and older population.

“It’s a big relief for seniors,” he said. “To be able to feel good, to live life without as much worry.”

DeSantis noted that once an age group reaches 70 to 75 percent vaccinated the demand for it drops rapidly, since 15 to 30 percent of seniors opt not to get the vaccine.

“Once you hit 75 percent that’s probably the high water mark,” DeSantis said.

He predicted that as the age eligibility continues to drop, the percentage of those opting to receive the vaccine will also decline.

“Some are gonna want it, some have recovered and have immunity,” he said. “Way less than 50 percent of the folks are going to want it.”

According to the Alachua County COVID-19 recovery dashboard, 62,440 residents have received first doses and 16,894 residents have received both doses as of March 19.

The daily positivity rate for COVID-19 cases on March 18 was 1.78 percent, while the two week positivity rate is 1.6 percent.

Alachua County reports 252 deaths from COVID-19 since the pandemic started.

For more information on COVID-19 vaccines in Alachua County click here.

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