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Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis joined decorated World War II veteran and centenarian Henry Sayler to witness Sayler receiving his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. This moment commemorates Florida nearing 1 million seniors vaccinated in the state.
"Florida is reaching a milestone as we work to rapidly deploy vaccines to seniors," said Governor DeSantis. "Our successful Seniors First strategy in Florida has allowed us to target this key population and narrow in on 1 million people 65 and older vaccinated – the first state in the nation to do so. It was an honor to witness Henry Sayler receive his first dose of the vaccine today."
Henry Benton Sayler, a St. Petersburg resident, recently turned 100 on Saturday, January 16, 2021. Not only is Sayler a decorated World War II fighter pilot and West Point graduate but an accomplished statesman, previously serving as a Florida State Senator.
Governor DeSantis' targeted approach of vaccinating Florida seniors has resulted in 66% of total vaccines administered going to those 65 and older. Key efforts and actions in our state include:
- Governor DeSantis led the way in prioritizing vaccine access to Florida's seniors, and as a result, Florida was the first state to put Seniors First. The federal government is now recommending that states prioritize vaccine access to seniors age 65 and older.
- This week, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the expansion of the state's partnership with Publix to establish COVID-19 vaccination sites at an additional 137 Publix locations, for a total of 242 Publix locations in 18 counties. For a list of all vaccination sites at Publix locations in Florida, click HERE.
- In total, more than 70 vaccination sites have been opened statewide in partnership with local communities and hospitals. Find the full list HERE. In addition to Publix, the State has worked collaboratively at all levels to increase vaccine access statewide to include utilizing places of worship, hospital partnerships and state-run vaccination sites.
- Under Governor DeSantis' direction, the Florida Division of Emergency Management continues to administer vaccines in long-term care facilities across the state. These efforts are supplementing and accelerating the vaccinations being undertaken by CVS and Walgreens, pursuant to their agreement with the federal government and reaffirms Florida's commitment to prioritize vaccine access to our most vulnerable populations. The state is expecting that staff and residents at all of Florida's more than 4,000 long term care facilities will be vaccinated by the end of the month.
- Governor DeSantis reaffirmed the state's commitment to the two-dose regimen for both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, despite discussions happening at the federal level regarding vaccine allocations. His statement is available HERE.
To receive text alerts regarding vaccine distribution, text FLCOVID19 to 888777.
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