DeSantis ignores official advice on prioritizing essential workers for vaccines: 'I don't think that's the direction we want'
As COVID-19 continues to ravage the state of Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is disregarding the guidance of public health officials' advice on vaccine distribution.
According to Business Insider, the Republican governor is suggesting the state will not follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, rolled out on Sunday, which recommended vaccine prioritization for essential workers.
During a news conference on Tuesday, DeSantis was asked about the state's vaccine rollout, and he made it clear that Florida will likely be taking a different path.
"The vaccines are going to be targeted where the risk is going to be greatest, and that's in our elderly population," DeSantis said. "We are not going to put young, healthy workers ahead of our elderly, vulnerable population."
Referencing the CDC recommendation that prioritizes essential workers, DeSantis said, "If you're a 22 year-old worker in food services at a supermarket, you would have preference over a 74 year-old grandmother. I don't think that's the direction we want to go."
DeSantis also stressed that the elderly will take precedence over the state's essential workers. "What I would say to the elderly population: It's going to be reserved for you. Not everyone's going to be able to do it on day one, it's going to take some time to be able to make sure everybody has access," he said.
The governor's remarks during the news conference came just one day after he offered his opinion on vaccine distribution.
"It's something that's very important and it means a lot to me that we're putting our parents and grandparents first," he said Monday. "If you took a 25-year-old deputy anywhere in Florida and said, 'I have one vaccine do you want it or should we give it to this 70-year-old?' I think 9/10 they'd say, 'Give it to the grandparents. Give it to the parents.'"
As of Wednesday, Dec. 23, the United States is continuing to face an accelerated spread of coronavirus. More than 18.7 million COVID cases have been reported, including more than 1.2 million cases in the state of Florida, alone. Florida also has the fourth-highest COVID-related death toll in the country.
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