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Gov. Ron DeSantis: Vaccine Age Eligibility Lowered To 50 Beginning Next Monday

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) - More Floridians will be eligible for the coronavirus vaccine beginning next week.

"I will be signing an executive order this morning lowering the age to 50 effective Monday. We think we've done pretty good this week with 60 to 64 but quite frankly we think on current vaccine allotments that opening it up will be good. I think the demand has been relatively modest, certainly much more modest than it was in the end of December when we were doing the 65 and plus," DeSantis said at a news conference Friday morning.

DeSantis said when they lowered the age to 60 there was demand, but it was not overwhelming. He attributes that to more distribution points than they had at the end of December. Another factor was people 60 to 64 with comorbidities who had already gotten shots.

The governor said he thinks, depending on how it goes next week, they will be able to open it up to everybody before May 1st - and maybe even before that.

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava posted on Twitter that county vaccine sites will open to more people at the end of March.

She continued saying that the age requirement will continue to drop each week. "Monday, coming, it will be 50 age 50 and above, the following week, in Miami-Dade County sites it will be 40 and above and thereafter 30 and we'll probably go to 18," she said.

In Broward, Mayor Steve Geller said all vaccine is under state control — and the county will follow guidelines set by the Governor. "I anticipate that within the next two months or so that every adult regardless of age who wants a shot will have the first shot in their arms by giving or take mid-May," Mayor Geller said.

Watch CBS4's Jessica Vallejo's report:


DeSantis said next week the state will receive another 42,000 doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, less than they had initially hoped for.

"The next two weeks after that is showing zero but I think what is happening is that this is a dynamic situation, I think it's very possible that we do get some J & J during those two weeks. Obviously, planning massive J & J outreach without knowing that you are going to get it makes it a little more difficult but I do think it's good. The response of J & J has been great. There was a little concerning that it was characterized as not as good at Pfizer or Moderna even though the clinical data showed 100 percent effectiveness to prevent death and serious illness," he said.

WATCH: Gov. Ron DeSantis News Conference


The governor said seniors love the Johnson and Johnson vaccine and have turned out in large numbers to get it.

DeSantis said more than three million seniors in the state have been vaccinated and nearly 70 percent of all seniors in the state have had at least one shot of either the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

"We've had a huge response from seniors. I think many of them have been very happy. When they are getting the shots it's a big relief for them because this is something they've had to worry about. It's been incredible to see some many folks so happy," he said.

DeSantis said the process to get a shot has become orderly, people have been able to get appointments much easier than when the first crush started at the end of December.

"We feel confident going to a 50 plus makes a lot of sense right now and I think that demand will obviously increase in terms of people looking to get the vaccine but I don't think it's going to be anything that is going to overwhelm (the system)," he said.

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