Florida to lower COVID-19 vaccine eligibility age to 50 starting Monday

Starting Monday, Floridians ages 50 and up will be the next group eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced.

Governor DeSantis made the announcement Friday alongside the state's emergency management director Jared Moskowitz, saying the state would open up vaccine eligibility to more of Florida's population.

DeSantis said nearly 70% of Florida's senior citizens have been vaccinated and demand is dropping among those currently eligible for shots. Right now, Florida is vaccinating people aged 60 and up, health care workers and first responders over 50.

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"I'm going to sign an executive order this morning lowering the age to 50 effective Monday," DeSantis said. "We think we've done pretty good this week with 60 to 64, but quite frankly, we think that, even on current vaccine allotments, that opening it up will be good."

President Biden previously announced all Americans who want a vaccine shot should be able to make an appointment by May 1. During Friday's press conference, DeSantis said he expected that Florida would meet the president's goal and open up eligibility to all adults before the beginning of May.

"We'll see how it goes next week, but I think we will definitely be opening it up to everybody, certainly before May 1 -- and maybe much sooner than that," the governor said.

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

Right now, the vaccine is available at many local pharmacies as well as state and federally run vaccine sites. The largest is the FEMA site in Hillsborough County at the Tampa Greyhound Track.

In other counties, including Pinellas and Pasco, appointments can be made using www.patientportalfl.com.

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