DeSantis walks back claim over 1 million seniors vaccinated

Ron DeSantis was there when 100-year-old Henry Sayler received a COVID-19 vaccine Friday. The Florida governor was pleased when he announced Sayler was the one-millionth senior citizen vaccinated in the Sunshine State. Later, DeSantis acknowledged we're still about 200,000 shots away from the 1-million mark.

"That is leading the nation by a country mile," DeSantis boasted. 

However, the assertion was premature. The Republican governor later said the injection was symbolic of hitting the goal of 1 million doses administered to his state's seniors.

That goal may not be officially reached until the weekend.

The governor said the state has vaccinated 1.3 million people overall -- with seniors and health care workers included. However, according to the state's daily vaccination report, 1,389,149 doses of vaccine have been administered, which includes second booster shots given to those who already got their first shot.

The state's report says 800,000 seniors age 65 and up have received their first dose of the vaccine. Only about 32,000 of them have received the second dose.

About 232,000 people under 65 have received at least their first dose of a vaccine.

RELATED: WWII fighter pilot is millionth Florida senior vaccinated

Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees announced the decision to restrict vaccines to Floridians on Thursday after reports about out-of-state and foreign visitors coming to Florida to get shots. 

In order to enforce the rule, the state now requires proof of residency. 


Dept. of Health order: COVID vaccines are for Florida residents only

It’s official: You now have to live in Florida – at least part-time – in order to get a COVID-19 vaccine in the Sunshine State. 

"When you arrive at your appointment, you’ll need to show proof of residence, or proof you have a Florida residential address," the Florida Department of Health’s Kevin Watler explained. "So for those who have a Florida driver’s license, that’s all you need." 

What the state needs is more vaccines. The governor says Florida receives about 266,000 a week. Last week, the state administered 405,000 shots. The governor says Florida is now giving more shots in a week than what’s being replenished.

"Basically, get us more vaccine. We will use it. We will use it well, and a lot of seniors will be happy if we’re able to do it."

INFO: COVID-19 vaccine distribution information in Tampa Bay area counties

If you don’t have a Florida driver’s license, the Health Department says, another official document like a utility bill, a deed or rental agreement will work.

The new residency rule does not apply to those who received their first dose, and are returning for the booster shot. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.