Floridians 60 and up will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine starting next week, DeSantis says

After focusing for more than two months on vaccinating seniors against COVID-19, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday the state will authorize giving shots to people ages 60 and older.

The change will take effect March 15 and was announced after more than 2.64 million people ages 65 and older have been vaccinated.

"As the demand has softened a little bit, as fortunately more than 50 percent of seniors in almost all of our major counties have received at least one shot, we will open it up to 60 to 64 as well," DeSantis said during a news conference Monday at the Capitol.

DeSantis issued an executive order in December that placed a focus on vaccinating seniors and has barnstormed the state promoting the policy.

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Through Sunday, slightly more than 3.59 million Floridians had been vaccinated, with seniors making up almost 74 percent of that total, according to Florida Department of Health numbers.

DeSantis last month announced that teachers and law-enforcement officers ages 50 and older would be eligible for shots. That was followed last week by President Joe Biden’s administration issuing a directive that made all teachers eligible.

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