SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - During a press conference Friday in Tallahassee, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that he will lower the vaccination age requirement to 50.
That means starting Monday, anyone age 50 and older will be allowed to sign up via the state website, your local county’s site or at a pharmacy of your choice if they are offering vaccinations.
Despite saying earlier in the week that supply had lowered and that the state’s next Johnson & Johnson vaccine delivery would be delayed, the governor pointed out that it had not affected distribution of the shots.
This week, Florida lowered the age threshold from 65 to 60, but the governor said softening demand convinced him the state could go to 50. “The demand has been relatively modest, so we think this makes sense,” said DeSantis who made the announcement at a news conference where he was joined by emergency management Director Jared Moskowitz.
The pair also went over steps the state has taken to get “shots in arms” of residents. DeSantis’ announcement came after some local officials said they planned to lower the age threshold to 50, or, in the case of Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, to 40. DeSantis bristled when asked about the Orange County plans, saying “it’s not his decision to make.”
He then called on Demings to do more to vaccinate older residents, saying that Orange County has only vaccinated about 63 percent of people age 65 or older. DeSantis said the next step for Florida will be to open up the vaccines to all adults. He said he did not know the exact timing but made clear it would occur ahead of President Joe Biden’s May 1 goal. “I can’t tell you exactly when that will happen, but it will definitely be before May 1,” DeSantis said.
-- Information from New Service of Florida was used in this report.