Governor DeSantis holds a press conference on vaccines in Crystal River.

DeSantis says Florida pharmacies will administer vaccines to teachers of all ages

Governor Ron DeSantis held a news conference Thursday morning in Crystal River on the vaccine rollout.

DeSantis announced the vaccine rollout will move along past seniors at pharmacies, giving thousands of others a chance at their shot. Doses have been expanded across pharmacy locations, with more people eligible than ever before in our state. The change happened seemingly overnight.

Since the vaccine rollout began, Gov. Ron DeSantis has been firm toward his prioritization of seniors to receive the vaccine in Florida before other groups in the state.

But a day after CVS said it would follow Biden administration guidelines to vaccinate teachers under 50, including preschool teachers and day care workers, DeSantis decided to adopt those guidelines for all pharmacies currently administering vaccines in the state.

“We’ve done millions of seniors,” Desantis said. “We’re over 54% of all Florida seniors have gotten at least one shot.”

That leaves 46% of seniors without a shot — dose one or two. As more shipment of vaccines arrive in Florida, it’s seniors first, plus lots of other people.

“I’m getting a lot of phone calls, texts and emails from my patients,” Dr. Rebekah Bernard said.

Bernard told us the people making those calls, sending those texts and emails are her patients under 65 deemed extremely vulnerable to the virus. Because now the governor said they can get the vaccine. They just need a physician to sign off on it.

“Some of the things on this list are not hard to meet, the criteria,” Bernard said. “The biggest one I see is obesity.”

The governor also said health care workers, teachers, law enforcement and firefighters can get the vaccine now.

As of the day’s announcement, CVS, Walmart and Publix pharmacies that are administering the vaccine say teachers of all ages are now allowed a shot.

DeSantis announced Walgreens will also begin to administer vaccines. We learned Walgreens will also not have an age restriction for teachers once it begin administering vaccines in the state. To check for an appointment time visit walgreens.com.

There is no doubt seniors were first in Florida, but now they’ve got company.

The only people without any real shot at a vaccine right now are young and healthy people who the governor believes might not even want the shot the way it’s wanted now.

“It’s interesting; my seniors seem to be far less vaccine hesitant,” DeSantis said. “You’re gonna see below 50% for under 50, I’m pretty sure in terms of the ones who want it.”

Watch the full news conference below or click here.

Reporter:Sydney Persing
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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