Text from Governor DeSantis’ video message as delivered is provided below:
Hi, this is Governor Ron DeSantis.
Florida is in its fourth week of vaccine distribution and doses have been delivered to all 67 county health departments as well as hospitals in every region across the state.
Now thanks to our proactive efforts early on to prepare for vaccine distribution, Florida was the first state in the nation to begin vaccinating the residents and staff of our over 4,000 long-term care facilities. We are also the first state to begin vaccinating the broader 65 and plus senior population.
And yes, in Florida we are putting our Seniors First. We have more than 4.5 million seniors in the state and prioritizing them for the vaccine is the most effective tool we have to battle the pandemic.
We also continue with vaccinations of our front-line health care workers as well as long-term care facility staff and residents.
Although supplies of vaccine from the federal government remain limited, we are remaining aggressive to stay ahead of the curve so that when supply does come, our infrastructure will be able to process it.
I’ve been crisscrossing the state to launch new partnerships with hospitals, private-sector companies like Publix, churches, and to also launch new drive-thru vaccination sites.
Just this week, Orlando Health opened seven community vaccination sites in the Central Florida area and Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital has opened two vaccination sites in the Pensacola Area.
I visited the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami and was joined by Miami-Dade County Mayor Cava to announce the soft-opening of the first state-run COVID-19 vaccination site.
I joined Publix to announce the launch of 22 pilot vaccination sites in Citrus, Hernando and Marion counties. We look forward to expanding this partnership.
I also announced that we would be hosting vaccinations at places of worship, particularly in underserved communities, including in Escambia County where we’ve vaccinated over 500 seniors and have them scheduled for their booster shot at the same location.
To assist with the administration of our new vaccination locations, I directed the Division of Emergency Management to hire 1,000 contract nurses to support our expanded footprint, which is now complete.
These nurses will supplement the many personnel we already have in the field, including 800 National Guardsmen, who have been supporting our response to the pandemic since the beginning of the public health emergency.
I also directed the State Emergency Response Team to assume additional responsibilities regarding vaccines in Florida’s long-term care facilities.
Now currently, the vaccination of residents and staff in long-term care facilities, including our assisted living facilities, are handled by CVS and Walgreens pursuant to an agreement they have with the federal government.
But we want and need to accelerate the pace, and so we are doing so by assisting these long-term care facility residents and staffs.
Now thanks to these efforts, we have been averaging more than 40,000 shots per day, and as we receive additional supply from the federal government, we will be prepared to increase that number.
Demand for the vaccine is high, and we know that there is no time to waste when it comes to getting shots in arms.
We will continue to provide updates and fight for you and your well-being.
Thank you and God Bless.