“We’ve been disappointed with the supply over the last two months,” Dr. Douglas Holt, director of the Hillsborough County Department of Health, mentioned. “It’s clearly going to take a while; it’s going to take months to vaccinate all eligible seniors.”
DeSantis’s critics additionally accused the Republican governor of ignoring federal pointers for prioritizing vaccines by giving first choice to seniors, one in every of Florida’s largest voting blocs.
In the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines launched Dec. 22, the CDC advises first giving vaccines to front-line important employees together with firefighters, cops, meals and agricultural employees, postal staff, manufacturing employees, grocery retailer staff, public transit employees and academics, college assist employees and daycare employees.
DeSantis, nonetheless, has steadfastly denied the Florida academics union’s request to vaccinate academics if they aren’t 65 years outdated or older.
The CDC recommends the inhabitants of Americans age 75 years and older be subsequent in line for vaccinations as a result of they’re at excessive threat of hospitalization and dying from the coronavirus.
Those age 65 to 74 are third on the CDC’s rollout recommendations.
Additionally, DeSantis is has been accused of taking part in politics with vaccines by diverting them to pop-up clinics in giant, deliberate communities constructed by rich builders and political supporters together with Lakewood Ranch in Manatee County the place rock legend Mick Jagger simply bought a house and big retirement neighborhood, The Villages, in Sumter County.
During a information convention at Lakewood Ranch, DeSantis lashed out, saying, “If Manatee County doesn’t like us doing this, we are totally fine with putting this (the clinic) in counties that want it.
“If there’s going to be of us which can be going to complain about getting extra vaccines, you already know, I’ll inform you what, I imply, I would not be complaining, I’d be grateful that we’re in a position to do it as a result of, you already know what, we did not want to do that in any respect,” DeSantis said.
In a statement released Wednesday, Democratic U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz blasted DeSantis for threatening to take Manatee County’s vaccines elsewhere.
“To threaten that he would pull vaccine if individuals do not like the best way the distribution system is working is vile and exhibits the callous indifference he has had in how the vaccine has been dealt with,” she said.
On Thursday, DeSantis quieted detractors by hosting the latest pop-up vaccination clinic at the Mainlands of Tamarac seniors community in Pinellas Park, a modest residential community developed in the 1970s.
According to state health department officials, the vaccines administered at the pop-up clinics are in addition to the supply of vaccines distributed to each county.
Although DeSantis has been censured by health officials for reopening businesses and schools during a pandemic while they remain closed in other states, the Florida Department of Health daily coronavirus data indicates the state is experiencing a downward trend in positivity rates.
As of Thursday, 1,856,427 Floridians tested positive for the coronavirus with 77,408 people hospitalized and 30,214 deaths since the pandemic started.
During the past week, the number of those testing positive was less than half of those who tested positive at the state’s most recent peak on Dec. 29 when 14,690 tested positive.
- Feb. 18 – 6,652 positive cases
- Feb. 17 – 5,052 positive cases
- Feb. 16 – 7,222 positive cases
This gives the state a current positivity rate of 5.85 percent, among the lowest Florida has had during the past six months.
In addition, the number of deaths has been steadily declining throughout January and February.
The state reported three deaths Thursday, 12 on Wednesday and 29 on Tuesday, compared to 188 deaths on Dec. 22.
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