Gov. DeSantis: no plans to change COVID-19 vaccination eligibility based on occupation

OCALA, Fla — While Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the opening of a new vaccine site at a retirement community in Ocala, reporters asked if he is looking at changing the criteria for those getting the shot based off their occupations.

“We’re not doing any occupation changes. We’re going to do an age-based approach going forward,” DeSantis said.

READ: Florida’s coronavirus-related death toll tops 32,000

He said vaccine eligibility will likely be expanded in March, and he will probably open it to people ages 60 and older next.

From there, the state will move to people ages 55 and older, no matter their occupation.

“It will happen in March. We will move the age down,” DeSantis said. “I haven’t got that exact date because it’s dependent on the vaccine supply, and it’s dependent on making sure we’re getting shots in the arms of seniors.”

READ: All school staff can now make COVID-19 vaccine appointments at Orange County Convention Center

While federal sites have started expanding vaccination eligibility to more and more essential worker categories, Florida has not.

Many essential workers in transportation, retail and hospitality have been hoping that, with the increase in available vaccination doses, the state would change the criteria to allow them to get the COVID-19 vaccination.

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