SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) -The governor announced on Monday afternoon that the state is scheduled to receive more than 300,000 doses of the COVID vaccine from the federal government. The governor says to date 30% of people over 65 have received their first dose of the vaccine in our state. State records show Sarasota County has vaccinated more than 40,000 people and Manatee County more than 26,000. The governor said on Monday that state leaders and himself will not rest until every senior that wants a vaccine, gets vaccinated. We’re told more than one million seniors have already received the first dose so far. But as we know there are thousands, in our community alone that are still waiting on the local Florida Department of Health to receive more supply so they can land an appointment. Something the governor says he hope to see increased soon.
During the governor’s news conference at The Villages this afternoon he said while the state’s focus is seniors first based on his initial executive order hospitals can administer the vaccine to any one under 65 that has a weakened immune system. He even said this week the state sent out 30,000 doses to various hospitals. Representatives with Sarasota Memorial Hospital say they haven’t received enough doses of the vaccine to open it up to patients under 65 with underlying health conditions, yet.
State leaders also announced they will begin setting aside doses of the vaccine for homebound seniors. Department of Health in Sarasota leaders tell us they haven’t received this directive yet but are in the support of the effort and look forward to receiving guidance on the outreach effort. Leaders in Manatee County have also not been notified of the new state initiative, as of Monday afternoon.
“So you have folks who may not be able to go to a drive thru site or may not be able to go to the grocery store or the hospital.. So those are folks we want to provide vaccines for. So that effort is going to begin this week as well,” said Governor Ron DeSantis.
So once local state agencies are up to speed with the states new efforts for homebound seniors we will update this story.