Jacksonville, FL. — During a news conference in Hialeah, Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis mentioned the possibility of the COVID-19 vaccine going to another group outside of seniors.
Last week, the Florida governor announced that four federally supported vaccination sites, including one in Jacksonville at the Gateway Mall, will open in March, through a partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Department of Defense, the Florida Department of Health, the Florida Division of Emergency Management and Florida National Guard.
The federally supported vaccination sites will be managed at the state level but will come with federal resources and additional doses above and beyond the state’s allotment, DeSantis said Tuesday morning.
“Because we have these extra doses, of course we will continue to make all those sites available for our seniors, but the federally supported sites, as long as it works out to where the doses will be allowed for this, we want that to be open, not just to seniors, but to sworn law enforcement and classroom teachers,” he said.
DeSantis stated it would start “probably at 50 and up for police and classroom teachers” and for fire crews that haven’t already received the vaccine.
He said they have pulled all the police and sheriff departments to get information about how many people they have that are sworn law enforcement officers, how many are 50 and older, and the number of people who want the vaccine.
“The goal is to be able to get that as more vaccines become available,” DeSantis said. “I think we will have ability to do that between these federally supported sites and some of the new vaccine that may be coming online very, very soon.”
Duval Teachers United, the local chapter of the Florida Education Association, said any vaccines open to individuals is a plus, however Terrie Brady, the president, said she questions why DeSantis only included teachers.
“They all come in contact with children — whether you’re maintenance workers, cafeteria, or bus drivers or teachers, paras or administrators,” she told Action News Jax’s Robert Grant. “We also have a lot of other employees 30 and 40 years old with underlying conditions. They’re in the workforce.”
Action News Jax reached out to the Florida Department of Health for clarification and whether teachers will need to bring their ID badge when they get vaccinated. We will update this story when a representative responds.
Brady said she is also working with the district to get teachers time during the day to go get vaccinated.
Hear DeSantis’ remarks below or click here.
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