DeSantis: Age limit for vaccinations to be lowered soon; Gov will take Johnson & Johnson shot when his turn comes

By: - February 25, 2021 2:15 pm

Gov. Ron DeSantis at a Fort Piece news conference on vaccines, Feb. 25, 2021. Credit: Gov. DeSantis’ Facebook page.

With younger-than-65-residents in Florida hoping to get vaccinations, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Thursday that it could happen as early as March.

In wide-ranging comments at a St. Lucie County news conference about vaccination distribution plans for Florida, DeSantis discussed when younger residents will be able to get the shots, given that the priority has been the 65-and-older crowd.

The governor said that he can guarantee, based on projections, that the age for vaccines will be lowered “some time in March.”

It won’t be, like, next Thursday, DeSantis said.

But as demand for the 65 and older group wanes, younger residents will get their turn. He said the new age group would likely be a minimum of 60 and older, not 65.

Several lawmakers were at the news conference, including State Sen. Gayle Harrell, representing Martin, St. Lucie counties and part of Palm Beach, and State Rep. Toby Overdorf, representing parts of Martin and St. Lucie counties.

DeSantis also talked about the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is expected shortly, and will differ from the two current shots by Pfizer and Moderna in several critical ways. By requiring just one dose, individuals won’t need to return several weeks later for an additional shot.

As to concerns by some that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is less effective than other shots, DeSantis said the J &J “data has been fantastic” and that the governor will take the that vaccine when his turn comes. (He is only in his 40s.)

“It’s just one dose. You get it and you’re done,” the governor said.

DeSantis was at the news conference specifically to open an additional vaccination site at Spanish Lake Community in St. Lucie County. The new site will provide 2,300 Pfizer vaccines to seniors age 65 and older over the next three days, according to a press release.

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Diane Rado
Diane Rado

Diane Rado has covered state and local government and public schools in six states over some 30 years, focusing on policy and investigative stories as well as legislative and political reporting. She spent most of her career at the St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay) Times and the Chicago Tribune. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and did a fellowship in education reform at the University of Michigan in 1999-2000. She is married to a journalist and has three adult children.