Gov. DeSantis hopes to lower COVID vaccine age requirement to 55 soon

Published: Mar. 17, 2021 at 5:45 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 17, 2021 at 9:48 PM EDT
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PALM HARBOR, Fla. (WCJB) - Millions more Floridians could be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine soon.

During his news conference on Wednesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis said he will lower the eligibility age to 55 for the vaccine in the coming weeks

“I’m not going to announce it yet, but we definitely will lower to 55 sometime in March,” he said. “I think we can get that done even at the current stagnant supply.”

According to DeSantis they are keeping an eye on the demand for the shot before taking the step.

“We just want to make sure when we do the announcement that we don’t create a crash on the system,” he said. “We still have seniors that are getting shots which is great, obviously the 60 to 64, and it’s about another million and a half Floridians when you go down that extra five years from 60 to 55. So you just have to be able to absorb it, but I think we’ll be able to do it.

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“I think that lowering that age is something that’s going to happen, hopefully, pretty soon,” he added. “We just want to make sure when we do the announcement that we don’t create a crush on the system.”

The eligibility age lowered Monday from 65 to 60.

The state also has made health care workers, anyone deemed vulnerable to the virus by physicians and firefighters, law enforcement officers and K-12 school employees who are 50 and older eligible for the vaccine.

“As I mentioned, we’ve done over 3 million seniors have gotten shots, and we’re closing in on two-thirds of all seniors in Florida,” DeSantis said.

Health care workers and patients deemed by physicians to be extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 also can sign up under the state’s guidelines.

All K-12 school employees are eligible for vaccinations at Federal Emergency Management Agency sites.

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