Gov. Ron DeSantis Announces Vaccine Distribution Expansion in Florida

Newly sworn-in Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during an event at the Freedom Tower where he named Barbara Lagoa to the Florida Supreme Court on January 09, 2019 in Miami, Florida. Mr. DeSantis was sworn in yesterday as the 46th governor of the state of Florida.(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images,)
Joe Raedle/Getty

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Tuesday announced an expansion in vaccine distribution, particularly for communities in Miami-Dade County, allowing senior citizens to schedule appointments for vaccines at dozens of Navarro Discount Pharmacy and CVS Pharmacy y más locations.

The Republican governor made the announcement on Tuesday during a press conference at Navarro Discount Pharmacy in Hialeah, explaining that the locations were specifically selected to “help ensure vaccines reach underserved areas.”

“Fifteen traditional CVS stores will also be offering the vaccine in numerous other counties,” DeSantis said, identifying those counties as Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, Broward, Collier, Hillsborough, Manatee, Hendry, Polk, St. Lucie, Volusia, Flagler, Gadsden, and Escambia.

“Once appointments are made, vaccinations will begin later this week,” DeSantis explained, addressing the critiques from establishment media outlets, such as CNN, which accused him of “bucking” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for prioritizing seniors.

“I don’t think it’s an effective political tact to attack me for vaccinating seniors,” the governor said. “We’re proud of vaccinating seniors. We’re going to keep doing it.”

“We’re trying to get the vaccine to those who it will be most impactful for,” he said, noting that nearly two and a half million seniors have received their first dose of the vaccine in Florida.

Florida has largely led the way in vaccine distribution and administration, administering 4,309,626 doses, or 20,443 per 100,000, as of February 22, per the CDC. New York, which the establishment media has praised throughout the pandemic, has administered 3,711,664 doses, or 19,090 per 100,000. Unlike DeSantis, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) did not put an emphasis on prioritizing seniors, specifically.

DeSantis’s announcement comes on the heels of Rep. Charlie Crist (D), who is open to another gubernatorial bid, formally calling on the Department of Justice to investigate DeSantis’s vaccine distribution, accusing him of setting up vaccine distribution sites “targeted to wealthy communities with whom Governor DeSantis has clear political connections.”

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