Seminole County: Vaccine eligibility expands but more vaccine is needed to keep up

With the Johnson & Johnson vaccine finally authorized for use, Seminole County hopes it will be able to vaccinate 10,000 to 11,000 people this week, which is much more than the county has been able to do in previous weeks.

Starting Monday, the following groups will be eligible for a vaccine:

  • People 60 and older
  • Any medical worker
  • Medically-compromised people with a signed doctor's form
  • All people in the education system (including college and university staff)
  • Law enforcement officers and firefighters 50 and older

Governor DeSantis said soon eligibility could open up to everyone.

"We could be in a situation... go down to 60 on Monday... We get to 55 relatively soon, and then if the supply flood gats really open, we could be in a position sometime in April where it's just available and people can get it," Gov. DeSantis said.

RELATED: Florida expands vaccine eligibility to those 60 and up

Seminole County Emergency Management Director Alan Harris said if the state keeps expanding eligibility, more vaccine is needed.

"Right now, normally when we can’t do the Johnson & Johnson, Seminole County can only do 5,600. That’s all the doses we get. That’s all the vaccine we get every week. That’s not enough," Harris said.

Harris said with the exception of this week's allotment of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, Seminole County hasn't seen any increase in the amount of vaccine it's getting. In fact for a few weeks, Harris said supply went down to around 3,000 doses a week.

"We'll be doing it for years if they continue to do it that way, so hopefully, they'll provide us what other counties, like Sarasota and Manatee, that are receiving tens of thousands of vaccine. Hopefully, in Seminole, we'll start to receive that," Harris said.

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The county said it is hoping the federal government might be able to help.

"We have petitioned the state multitudes of times. We are looking now at petitioning the federal government for increases because it's not really changing for us, unfortunately, at the state level so we're looking at other options," Harris said.


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