DeSantis: 'In Florida, we will NOT do any vaccine mandates'
CRYSTAL RIVER, Fla. - Governor Ron DeSantis reiterated on Thursday that Florida will not make getting the COVID-19 vaccine a requirement for residents.
"In Florida, we will not do any vaccine mandates," the governor said while speaking in Crystal River. "This is your choice. We're going to bring it to everyone who wants it. If you want it, great. If you don't that's your decision."
While announcing that Walgreens in Citrus County would be offering the vaccine, the governor also said that the state could lower the eligibility to get the vaccine this month.
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"We are going to do even more Walgreens in the coming weeks and I think that that will be particularly important when we get to a point where we can lower the age to below 65," DeSantis said. "Which is going to happen relatively soon, certainly this month. It’s just a matter of seeing how much vaccine we’re getting."
DeSantis says the decision will be based on the supply of vaccines that Florida has. He did not specify to what age the eligibility could be lowered to. Current rules only allow vaccines to be given to those 65 and older with the exception of first responders, school employees or those who are considered 'high-risk.'
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An executive order signed by DeSantis has opened up the coronavirus vaccine to people under the age of 65 who are "extremely vulnerable" -- in other words, those who have an increased risk of severe illness or death as a result of contracting COVID-19.
The Florida Department of Health has published a form for physicians to certify that they have determined an individual to be extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 and eligible to receive the vaccine. You can find the form HERE.
Watch FOX 35 News for the latest updates on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.