THE VILLAGES, Fla. — Starting this week, Florida will begin receiving tens of thousands additional doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from the federal government.
Speaking at the The Center for Advanced Healthcare at Brownwood in The Villages on Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis said the state will get about 307,000 first doses of the vaccine this week.
That's an increase of about 40,000 doses from the roughly 266,000 first doses that Florida had been receiving for the past several weeks.
"We're making good progress," DeSantis said. "If I had half a million additional doses a week, we'd be able to do even more. But we're happy we got the extra 40,000."
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For weeks, the governor has called on the federal government to send extra supply of the COVID-19 vaccine to Florida, saying the Sunshine State has the infrastructure in place to inoculate more residents.
DeSantis on Monday said he's hoping the Federal Pharmacy Program will send additional doses to Florida to be used at distribution sites like Publix, and possibly even Walmart and Winn-Dixie stores.
"So that gives you even more," DeSantis said. "If they do turn on the Federal Pharmacy Program, that would be in addition to our current allotment. I think that would really be helpful."
In his mission of putting seniors first, the governor said Florida is "leading the nation in vaccinating seniors," with close to 30% of residents 65 and older receiving at least one dose of the vaccine so far.
"Whose priorities are you looking out for? We're looking out for our parents and grandparents here in Florida," DeSantis said.
According to the latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health, 1,678,944 people have received the COVID-19 vaccine in the Sunshine State.