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Big Bend members responds to Biden's new COVID plan

Posted at 11:10 PM, Sep 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-09 23:23:56-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Local health officials are praising President Biden's plan while others balk at what they consider an affront to personal freedom.

"I think it's a good strategy," said Tanya Tatum, Florida A& MUniversity's Director of Student Health Services.

The new requirement could create a strain on vaccination sites like the one hosted at FAMU. But, the university health services director says it'd be well worth the extra work.

"We know that we're seeing increased cases and increased deaths due to the delta variant," Tatum added, "and the fact that we continue to have such high rates of community transmission, we're just waiting for the next variant to come."

Florida Governor Ron Desantis disagrees, saying "I do not believe that people should lose their jobs over this issue, and we will fight that."

It's a fight some workers will be happy for him to take on.

"I feel like that's a little extreme because everybody has to work and pay bills and everything," explained Emalee Davis, currently employed in Gadsden County.

Others are eager to see the difference it could make for overall health and safety.

"It might infringe on somebody's personal rights, I agree with that," said Gadsden County resident Don Parramore, "but I also think that with a vaccination available, that everybody needs to get the vaccination to keep everybody safe."

According to data collected by the Mayo Clinic, Florida's population is 54 percent fully vaccinated. That number is 58 percent in Leon County, according to the Department of Health.

Vaccination sites like FAMU's will be looking to OSHA for more guidance on the plan's implementation in the coming weeks.