White House and DeSantis disagree on assessment of Florida’s vaccine distribution plan

ORLANDO, Fla. — On Tuesday, Governor Ron DeSantis stood in front of a Publix grocery store in Vero Beach announcing yet another vaccine distribution location.

For the governor, the vaccine rollout has been rocky but successful, with Florida being one of the more efficient states at distributing vaccines, trailing only New York among the four largest states.

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Despite this overall efficiency, in the last week, the governor has suddenly become critical of the federal government’s distribution of vaccines, saying on Monday that, “right now we’re at the mercy of what the federal government sends to us and we’re going through it faster than we’re receiving it.”

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This led to the White House responding that Florida has only distributed half of the vaccines it has received.

While that is true, it is also misleading.

Florida has only distributed half of the 2.9 million vaccines it has received, but as the state has pointed out it is keeping some 900,000 vaccines in reserve for the required second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

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According to the CDC, Florida has administered 7,193 shots per 100,000 residents, a number that puts the state in the top half of states for distribution and well ahead of other large states like Texas (6,222) and California (5,899).

The Biden administration has set a goal of 1.5 million vaccines a day by the early spring, with some suggesting 2 million a day could be possible.