Florida will lower the age for vaccine eligibility to 18 in the coming weeks, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced Thursday.
Beginning April 5, all adults in Florida will be eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine following months of DeSantis’s administration prioritizing seniors, one of the most vulnerable populations in terms of risk associated with the Chinese coronavirus. There will be one more stagger before April 5, however. Beginning Monday, March 29, those 40 and older will be eligible to receive the vaccine.
“Florida’s Senior First vaccine strategy is paying off,” DeSantis said in a Thursday video, announcing 3.2 million people 65 and older have been vaccinated.
“More than 3.2 million seniors 65 up have received shots, DeSantis said, explaining that Florida will exceed the goals laid out by President Biden — who previously said all U.S. adults will be eligible to receive a vaccine by May 1st — and offer it nearly a month before the president’s target date.
“We’ve now vaccinated over 70 percent of the roughly 4.4 million seniors living in the state. We’ve also made great progress on those age 60-64 and on those age 50 and older, and we’re ready to take this step,” DeSantis said, noting hospitalization and case rates for senior citizens have “plummeted” since his administration implemented its “Seniors First” strategy.
Florida continues to rank 41st in senior mortality per capita with 40 states having higher mortality for COVID [coronavirus] on a per capita basis than the state of Florida,” the governor said, emphasizing that vaccines are not mandatory in the Sunshine State.
“We’ve made great progress and I look forward to continuing to work hard to make sure everyone in Florida who wants a shot can get a shot. No mandate, but access for all,” he said:
I’m pleased to announce that beginning this Monday, March 29, all Floridians age 40 and older will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Beginning the following Monday, April 5, all Floridians age 18 and older will be eligible. pic.twitter.com/gJ0HHmiINW
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) March 25, 2021
Florida has administered over 8.3 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine, per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) March 24 data.