TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Governor Ron DeSantis announced on Wednesday afternoon that he expects the first shipments of COVID-19 vaccines to arrive in Florida in the next three to six weeks.
“By the end of December, pending FDA approval, there will be roughly 40 million doses of these two vaccines available — 25 million for Pfizer and 15 million for Moderna," the Governor said in a video statement. "Each individual requires two doses so that would mean there will be enough vaccine for 20 million Americans by the end of December.”
Both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are said to be 95 percent effective and are awaiting approval from the FDA.
He added that "millions of doses are ready to ship as we speak, as soon as the FDA approves.”
With that, Governor DeSantis believes that "our hospitals [will] receive these hopefully in the next three to six weeks. It’s all contingent on when the FDA approves.”
Florida has already identified five different hospital systems that can store and distribute the Pfizer vaccine, which must be stored in -70 degree temperatures. The Moderna vaccine is more flexible as it can be stored in normal refrigeration, he explained.
About at the same time that hospitals receive the vaccine, Governor DeSantis said that "both CVS and Walgreens will also be receiving vaccines to administer to residents of long-term care facilities."
Nearly 2,000 long-term care facilities have already registered to receive the vaccine.
According to the Governor, Florida has been preparing for the distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine since July. The state has already purchased necessary supplies, including 5 million syringes, 5 million needles, and 5 million alcohol swabs.
The Governor assured citizens though that the state will not mandate that anyone takes the vaccine. It will be a choice for everyone to make.
In his vaccine video, Governor DeSantis also spoke about a new treatment for COVID-19 patients. Made by Eli Lilly, the monoclonal antibody cocktail is administered through an IV. It is best for those who are high-risk due to health complications and should be delivered as soon as the infection is detected.
He said that there has been a 70 percent reduction in hospitalized patients who have used the treatment. Florida hospitals have received 3,000 doses of it and will administer it to those who need it.
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