Florida sets aside COVID-19 vaccines for home-bound seniors, Holocaust survivors

Gov. Ron DeSantis with Holocaust survivor Judy Rodan in Aventura, Florida, on Feb. 4, 2021. (Photo: Gov. Ron DeSantis/Twitter)

The state of Florida on Thursday launched a pilot program to bring COVID-19 vaccines to home-bound seniors, setting aside hundreds of doses specifically for Holocaust survivors.

Gov. Ron DeSantis made the announcement Thursday morning from a synagogue in South Florida.

The governor said 1,500 doses a week will be set aside for homebound seniors or those who have difficulty traveling and are unable to get to a vaccination distribution center.

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"We try to get the vaccines out to folks in a convenient way but not everyone can go to a drive-through site, not everyone can go to a hospital," DeSantis explained. "We thought it was important to fill a niche."

He added that the first 750 doses of this new program are specifically designated for homebound seniors who are Holocaust survivors.

DeSantis said he was present as the first Holocaust survivor, Judy Rodan, received her vaccine Thursday morning in Aventura, just north of Miami.

"She was orphaned, she was in Auschwitz, she escaped, and thankfully has been able to live a long and fruitful life," DeSantis said. "But everyone else in her family was taken, killed, in the Holocaust."

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The governor said the state will work with Jewish organizations in Florida to identify Holocaust survivors who would qualify.

"We owe our seniors, we owe people like Judy and other Holocaust survivors for serving as inspirations to so many people," DeSantis said. "We're thankful for what they mean to this country... and how they remind us to never forget."