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Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried gets COVID-19 booster shot

Fried calls for more action from Gov. Ron DeSantis as cases surge
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried receives a COVID-19 booster shot on Dec. 29, 2021
Posted at 12:03 PM, Dec 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-29 12:03:18-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida's agriculture commissioner got her COVID-19 booster shot Wednesday morning in front of the Capitol Press Corps.

The Democrat and candidate for governor said she wanted to "lead by example" as the latest data shows that boosters are one of the best ways to prevent severe illness from the surging omicron variant.

Commissioner Nikki Fried criticized her opponent, Gov. Ron DeSantis, for not being clear on whether he had been boosted.

She also called for more action from DeSantis to combat the surge, including expansion of state testing sites to ease growing demand.

Some patients are waiting hours to get tested, while other sites, including West Palm Beach, are closing early due to high volume.

"Take his head out of the sand. We have people that are scared out here. I'm not telling people to be scared. Everybody needs to take a deep breath and be calm, but there are people that are concerned, and he has to recognize that," Fried said.

The governor's office responded with the statement below:

"As Gov. DeSantis has said, boosters are freely available throughout the state to everyone who wants one. The decision to get a vaccine or booster should always be a personal choice and anyone who has questions should consult their healthcare practitioner."

State officials also note that while cases are climbing in the state, hospitalizations remain well below the summer delta surge.