Rep. Stephanie Murphy: Biden vaccine plan hurts states with high senior populations

Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., conducts a news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center on the eviction of Congressional offices from Veterans Affairs Department facilities on Friday, September 20, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via G

Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy of Florida is urging President Biden to adjust his plan for distributing vaccines nationwide after finding "obvious flaws" that could prove detrimental to states with higher rates of seniors.

"We share the same goal, which is to manufacture and distribute enough vaccine doses to vaccinate every American as swiftly as possible," Murphy said in a letter to the president Thursday, according to FOX News. 

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But Murphy took issue with the plan by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to distribute vaccines to states based on the number of residents they have that are 18-years of age and older.

"This single-factor formula has the benefit of simplicity, but it also has obvious flaws," she said. "According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Americans age 65 and older account for 81 percent of all COVID-19 deaths in the United States." 

According to Murphy, one in five residents in Florida are at least the age of 65, which means nearly 21-percent of the state’s population are considered at high risk of the coronavirus and should be given priority.

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"The congresswoman has asked the administration to take into consideration states and territories like Maine and Puerto Rico, which share high populations of senior citizens, when distributing vaccines, as the CDC has recommended that people 75 of age and up be prioritized in receiving vaccinations," FOX News reported. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis touted Florida’s response to vaccinating seniors, telling reporters Thursday, "We are number one for shots for seniors."

DeSantis says 35% of Florida’s 4.4 million seniors have been vaccinated. He expects those numbers to rise as Publix and Winn Dixie join the effort.

The governor says Florida’s allotment of the COVID-19 vaccine continues to go up. Last week, the state received 25,000 doses and this week they expect 325,000.

FOX News contributed to this report.