Florida teachers of all ages are eligible for Covid-19 vaccinations, under a directive issued by President Joe Biden’s administration.
Since vaccines first became available in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis has prioritized people ages 65 and older for the sought-after shots and until recently spurned pleas to expand the state’s vaccination program to include school employees. He announced Feb. 23 that teachers ages 50 and older would have access to vaccines.
But the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a directive on Tuesday requiring all school workers, including bus drivers, to be prioritized for vaccinations.
DeSantis on Thursday acknowledged that the Biden administration’s order allows all Florida teachers to sign up for shots. “The federal government put that order in. So they’ve made the teachers, regardless of age, eligible, so they are eligible to get vaccinated, per that order. Our view is, if you’re 25, you’re just at less risk than somebody that’s 80. That’s just the bottom line,” DeSantis told reporters in Crystal River.
The shots are available at all pharmacies offering vaccinations, as well as other locations where inoculations are offered, including sites operated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Duval, Hillsborough, Miami-Dade and Orange counties. DeSantis said the state will continue prioritizing seniors for shots. “At the same time, (the) federal government’s the one sending us the vaccine. If they want it to be for all ages, then they have the ability to go and do that. So the pharmacies are obviously going to accommodate that. These sites will accommodate that. But our number one goal right now is to get through the senior population,” he said.
DeSantis said he will gradually lower age restrictions when as many seniors who want the vaccine receive it. Florida is home to more than 4 million residents ages 65 and older. DeSantis also said the state will receive 175,000 doses of the newly approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine this week. Those shots will be prioritized for law-enforcement and fire-department personnel and education workers who are ages 50 and older, the governor said. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, unlike other vaccines, requires only one shot. “I think it’s a very effective way to go in, vaccinate a lot of people,” DeSantis said. “You do one shot, and then you don’t have to worry about it.”
–News Service of Florida
Thank you President Biden!
Who’s surprised? This President will do anything to pander to the Teacher’s Unions. So sad to see an Administration so directly involved in picking winners and losers. Yet another example where Science only matters when it is convenient.
And he is also punishing fire fighters and cops who respond to situations requiring PPE on a daily basis when a majority of the worker bee personnel in law enforcement and fire are under 50 …. most 50 year cops are supervisors who sit their butts at a desk all day to say a cop or fire fighter who is 25 is less likely to suffer is horse crap ….yet none of these sheriffs are pushing back at the governor for his whacked point of view …stupidity at its best
Better yet he is holding press conference with officers with no masks.. Showing his disregard for them. Than those same officers interact with the public and other service providers. SMH …
Since Biden has mandated that all teachers should get the vaccine regardless of age, then I would recommend that DeSantis set aside the J&J vaccine for all teachers. It is just a one shot deal plus it has only on average a 66% effectiveness versus the 95% that Moderna and Pfizer both have demonstrated. The latter two should be used on the older population only that really need the added protection.
I have not seen anything about when those of us who are under 65 with underlying health conditions will be eligible for the vaccine. Did I miss something?
Land 'O Lakes says
People, it’s March. Desanti still want to prioritize elderly, with extra special privilege going to those on that private elder island gated community in Miami accessible by boat or plane only (fischer), and anyone else with money regardless of age. Biden’s order did what it did, but it was so nice to see businesses in America undermine the authoritarian ruling of Florida (aka Desanti) offering vaccines to those under Biden’s order. It was thrilling to go get my vax knowing Desanti was rolling over in his butter pants wondering how to stop it. ;)
Wow! A President who actually cares about Americans rather than a Governor who cares about zip code, that’s a novelty.
So now that Florida is allowing all 50 and older in schools the vaccine and the Federal government is allowing all school employees, how about our local School Board members lead by example and publicly get vaccinated?