ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - As COVID-19 vaccine stockpiles await the FDA’s greenlight in early December, Governor Ron DeSantis is making it clear who will get the first round of available vaccines in the state.
“In Florida, we are going to set priorities focusing on specifically those most vulnerable, elderly residents in long-term care facilities, as well as our frontline healthcare workers who are interacting with vulnerable patients, day in and day out,“ he said during a video released Wednesday.
The vaccine will be deployed to Florida’s 4,000 long-term care facilities. More than 3,000 long-term care facilities have already signed up.
The state has set aside an additional 500,000 rapid tests for nursing homes.
Regeneron, a new antibody therapy meant for those most vulnerable to COVID, has received its emergency use authorization and is now on its way to hospitals throughout the state.
“If we can redouble our efforts to protect the most vulnerable until the vaccine is deployed, we will help safeguard the lives of thousands of Floridians,” DeSantis said.
As cases spike throughout the Tampa Bay Area, DeSantis again declined to hold a public appearance with reporters. Instead, he issued a video statement while also extending an executive order aimed at preventing business shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Local governments cannot mandate any shutdowns and the order also says cities and counties cannot issue fines for those who don’t follow mask mandates.