Investigates: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis describes ‘stagnant’ COVID-19 vaccine rollout

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Governor Ron DeSantis was in Mandarin Monday and discussed the supply and demand concerns with COVID-19 vaccine rollout. He said the state is at the mercy of whatever the federal government ships.

As of Monday, DeSantis said the state was set to receive about 266,000 first doses of the vaccine this week. However, he added that the state has the capacity to administer closer to 500,000 doses a week.

“We’ve been very stagnant this whole month,” DeSantis said at at a Jacksonville nursing home, River Garden Hebrew House for the Aged on Old St. Augustine Road. He was there to discuss vaccine rollout at senior centers.

“We’re trying to replenish everybody, but when we were at 500,000 [a week], we were sending to hospitals. But when we get down to 266,000 there’s just less to go around.”

This comes after the two city-run sites at Mandarin and Lane Wiley Senior Centers and the county health department’s Prime Osborn site were closed last Thursday to any new patients. Both facilities will still offer a second dose.

Now everything is streamlined through the state-run Regency center which is filling about 1,000 appointments a day, about half of the county’s previous supply.

“If I double it, everybody will get more. We’re just at the mercy of whatever is being produced and whatever is being sent here,” DeSantis said.

As of Monday morning, the state has received 1.7 million doses. DeSantis said about 1.25 million have been administered to residents 65 years and older, along with frontline healthcare workers.

So far, about 22% of residents 65 years and older have been vaccinated.

Governor DeSantis said Florida’s COVID-19 vaccine allotment is in the federal government’s hands and encouraged the public to write to their local congressmen/congresswoman and senators, asking they talk to the administration.

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