“The state doesn’t dictate hospitals,” Florida Governor Ron DeSantis told CNN on Monday. “These guys are much more competent to provide health services than the state government could ever be.”
Although Florida has an established structure for deciding on the priority groups to be vaccinated, healthcare facilities need to organize the delivery of vaccines to patients. Some hospitals have abandoned the registration system and instead have a strategy that first arrives, receiving a vaccine to give vaccines distributed by the state, DeSantis said. Demand was high among the elderly, who were most at risk due to severe illness due to Covid-19.
And the elderly make up a significant proportion of the country’s population: according to the 2010 U.S. Census, more than 3.2 million of Florence’s 18.8 million are over 65 years old.
At a meeting of questions and answers on Wednesday, Florida Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz said the state is working to tackle a different system of appointments in counties, especially when planning to serve seniors who can’t wait in long lines . A subsidiary of CNN WFTV.
According to the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 19 million doses and 4.8 million given had been distributed worldwide by Tuesday. Florida is among 12 countries that have injected less than a quarter of vaccines. More than 329,000 people were vaccinated from the state until Tuesday.
Random deployment has resulted in dramatic scenes in the country. On Monday night, Daytona Beach officials announced that the first 1,000 people who line up for vaccinations on Tuesdays will be able to park and wait overnight at Daytona Stadium to ease traffic and road closures.
The message came after the line began forming 12 hours before the scheduled first shot on Tuesday, WFTV reports. On Monday morning, all 1,000 people who were given the vaccine for the day were at the site by 6:30 a.m., half an hour before the city’s scheduled opening, the store said.
“Oh, I want this vaccine more than anything,” Daytona Beach Shores resident Deborah Boyd told WFTV. “Honestly, I’d take a parachute by helicopter to get this vaccine, and I’m willing to wait until it lasts. I can’t live like this anymore.”
The facility reached capacity more than two hours before it opened for vaccination, the city posted on Facebook.
In South Florida, Broward Health said last week that all appointments were booked until February.
Although recognition of the introduction of vaccines was not complete, DeSantis said Florida was a better approach.
Most states initially vaccinate only healthcare professionals and long-term care patients, but Florida has expanded the range of its doses.
“If you have a 73-year-old parent, a 73-year-old grandparent, in the vast majority of countries in this country they are not eligible for vaccination. We don’t believe that’s right. We believe that the elderly should come first,” he said.
DeSantis warned hospitals to increase the level of management, adding that some facilities operate better than others.
“We want you to use the vaccine. If you don’t use it, we’ll make sure the extra funds are reduced and then spread to places where they make good use of it,” DeSantis said.
To meet the demand for vaccination of the elderly, Florida has announced the opening of new Covid-19 vaccination sites. The Hardrock Stadium in Miami Gardens will serve 1,000 people a day, and Publix supermarkets will begin a pilot program of the vaccine in 22 stores with 5,000 doses of Moderna on Friday, DeSantis announced.
CNN Denise Royal and Rosa Flores contributed to this report.