HIALEAH, FLA. (WSVN) – The demand for doses of the coronavirus vaccine brought Gov. Ron DeSantis to South Florida with some big announcements.
Starting Wednesday, seniors will have even more options for getting vaccines at local pharmacies. Teachers and law enforcement could make the list soon as well.
DeSantis on Tuesday said the vaccinations at these new sites could begin as early as Thursday.
“This is going to be really significant, I think, for this area,” he said.
The governor visited Hialeah to announce that Miami-Dade seniors will have more locations to choose from to get their COVID-19 vaccine.
“And every single one of the 31 Navarro Discount pharmacies in Miami-Dade County, and every single one of the 35 CVS EMA stores in Miami-Dade County,” he said.
The stores were selected in an effort to reach underserved areas.
“Dozens of these retail locations that I just called out are familiar, culturally relevant healthcare destinations for Black and Hispanic populations across South Florida, and other communities with the greatest need for support,” said Regional Director of CVS Health Ahmed Velez.
Each site is set to administer 100 shots a day as the state continues to look to retail pharmacies to deliver doses.
Starting next week, they will administer 2,000 shots a day at Miami-Dade College’s north campus — one of four federally supported vaccination sites coming to Florida.
The doses given there are in addition to the state’s allotment.
“We want that to be open not just to seniors, but to sworn law enforcement and classroom teachers, and so we’ll start with probably 50 and up for the police and the classroom teachers,” said DeSantis.
The updates were not what everyone was looking to hear.
Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez took to the podium after the governor.
“I don’t know why he doesn’t want to talk to me or invite me anywhere when Hialeah is the sixth-largest city in the state and one of the most affected.”
Hernandez said he went to the news conference uninvited to listen and advocate for his city.
“We still have not received that percentage of vaccines, according to our senior citizen population,” he said.
DeSantis said overall the numbers are looking good for the senior population, which will continue to be his top priority.
“We are, hopefully, going to hit very soon 50% of all seniors in Florida will have received a shot,” he said. “We’re in the mid-’40s, about 45%, 46% right now. Once these guys get these shots going, then you’re going to see those numbers go up very quickly.”
Starting Tuesday, Jackson Health System is expanding its vaccination criteria to include residents 55 years and older with specific medical conditions.
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