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DeSantis: Florida hospitals likely to begin receiving COVID-19 vaccine within weeks

Posted at 1:58 PM, Nov 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-19 13:58:29-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Florida Governor Ron DeSantis laid out his plan to distribute the coronavirus vaccine across the state in a video released Thursday afternoon.

In the video, he said the federal government estimates there will be roughly 40 million doses of these two vaccines available, 25 million for Pfizer and 15 million for Moderna, by the end of December pending FDA approval.

"The good thing about this is millions of doses are ready to ship as we speak. As soon as the FDA approves, they will then go out within the next 24 hours," DeSantis said. "We expect our hospitals, hopefully, to receive these within the next 3 to 6 weeks. It is all contingent on when the FDA approves."

As hospitals in the state begin receiving the vaccine, DeSantis said both CVS and Walgreens will also begin receiving the vaccine to give to residents of long-term care facilities, who have long been identified as some of the most vulnerable citizens when it comes to COVID-19.

So far, nearly 2,000 long-term care facilities have registered so that they can start getting their residents vaccinated as soon as the vaccine arrives. DeSantis also said the state has already purchased 5 million syringes, 5 million needles and 5 million alcohol swabs ahead of mass distribution in Florida.

DeSantis stressed that the state is "fully prepared to distribute the vaccine as quickly and efficiently as possible," but said that each Floridian would have a choice on whether they decide to take it.

"Our goal is to make all safe and effective COVID vaccines available to Floridians who want them, but the state will not mandate that Floridians take these vaccines. That is going to be the choice of each and every Floridian," DeSantis said.

You can watch DeSantis' full video message below: