Florida may not receive more COVID-19 vaccines until next week due to winter weather, DeSantis says

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. — COVID-19 vaccine shipments are still on hold as wicked weather freezes the country. Gov. Ron DeSantis said the shipments might not get to Florida until next week.

More than 200,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine were scheduled to arrive days ago.

“Because of the storms we are seeing, they are basically sitting in a warehouse somewhere,” he said. “I don’t even think they can get into it because of everything.”

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Most of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine has arrived, but about 9,000 doses haven’t made it yet. The doses could arrive Thursday.

DeSantis said Florida is still on the right track.

“We are getting more vaccine. We are at 325,000 last week. We will have a net increase of 41,000 next week’s shipping,” he said.

READ: Orange County has less vaccine waste than other areas in Florida, experts say

Starting next week, the state could potentially get close to 400,000 doses of the vaccine.

There are 4.5 million seniors in the state of Florida. So far, almost 2 million of them have been vaccinated.

DeSantis said it will be just a few weeks until he can expand vaccinations.

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“Once we get into the 2.5, 3 million you will see the demand soften,” he said. “So, when they have Walmart, Publix or these community sites where they have problems filling up appointments, then yes we will work to open it up. But right now, we still have more demand than supply on a weekly basis. So we are going to stay the course and continue with seniors. Once the seniors are taken care, of then I think we will be able to do more.”

It is unclear which age groups or professions the governor will allow to get the vaccine next.

READ: Coronavirus vaccine: Fauci says timeline for general public to get a COVID-19 vaccine is pushed back

Essential workers like employees in transportation or food service could be next in line under Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

READ: Polling shows more Americans planning to get COVID vaccines, but hesitancy remains a concern

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Q McCray, WFTV.com

Q McCray is an award-winning general assignment reporter.

Katlyn Brieskorn, WFTV.com

Katlyn Brieskorn is a Digital Assignment Editor at WFTV. She joined Channel 9 in July 2019.