TALLAHASSEE — Earlier this week, Gov. Ron DeSantis was in Washington, D.C. meeting with key officials to discuss Florida’s vaccine distribution plans, and to highlight the potential of Operation Warp Speed.
The federal government has allocated 179,400 doses of the Pfizer vaccine for Florida’s first shipment. DeSantis said he anticipates receiving these initial doses within a week.
Florida, as every other state, will not be able to vaccinate everyone. This has prompted the state to set priorities that will help to protect the most vulnerable and those on the front lines of the pandemic.
Of top priority are residents of long-term care facilities. They are at the greatest risk and the vaccine could have a positive impact on them, not only protecting them from COVID, but allowing them to return to a more normal life.
Also of top priority are health care workers in high risk and high contact environments.
These priorities will be the focus of the 179,000 doses that Florida will initially receive from the federal government.
As the vaccine supply increases over the next few weeks, the state will start getting it to elderly residents as well as those who may have significant comorbidities, making them high-risk for complications from COVID-19.
In line with these priorities, the first round of the 179,400 doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be allocated as follows:
97,500 doses will be sent to hospitals to administer the vaccine to high-contact and high-exposure health care personnel.
60,450 doses of vaccine will be sent to CVS and Walgreens for use in long-term care facilities. Both companies are under contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to administer vaccines inside those facilities.
21,450 doses of vaccine will go directly to the Florida Department of Health. Strike teams from the Department of Health, the Florida Division of Emergency Management, and the Florida National Guard to go into long-term care facilities and administer the vaccine in areas with a high concentration of facilities.
These efforts will supplement those that CVS and Walgreens are preparing to undertake as partners in Operation Warp Speed.
DeSantis says he hopes to have more good news about additional doses of both the Pfizer and hopefully, the newly approved Moderna vaccine, next week.
He is also looking forward to clinical trials concluding for Johnson and Johnson’s vaccine, which is a one-dose vaccine that does not require special storage.
The governor says he will continue to provide updates as distribution begins in Florida.