Florida Governor Ron DeSantis held a press conference at Delray Beach on Wednesday morning detailing the initial phase of the state's COVID-19 vaccination plan.
He said that while some counties in Florida were already offering the vaccine for those 65 years of age and above, the overall available supply would dictate how many shots would be offered in this preliminary inoculation phase.
"Supply is limited," DeSantis said. "We don't have enough vaccines for all four million-plus senior citizens in Florida."
DeSantis said that some counties would be offering the vaccine through their local health departments and some would be giving out the shots through hospitals.
He said that his plan is to continue prioritizing the elderly population, despite CDC recommendations that essential workers also be vaccinated. DeSantis said that the state's definition of 'essential worker' was too loose and that he was not prepared to vaccinate a food worker for example, over someone elderly.
The governor said Florida has 175,000 doses of the vaccine currently available but that he expects that number to rise.
You can watch the governor's full remarks below.
One week ago, DeSantis announced the signing of an executive order to ensure senior citizens are the top priority when it comes to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
Speaking from Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, the governor said that after front line health care workers have received their vaccines, those 65 years of age and older will be next in line to get their shots.
"Once we're able to do that with those initial doses, we want to work to get this out to our senior population. We think that's very very important," he said, adding that vaccinating seniors would reduce hospitalizations and deaths.
COVID-19 vaccines for individuals 65 years of age and older became available Wednesday in Jacksonville.
The vaccinations are expected to take place at the Prime Osborn Convention Center, located at 1000 Water Street, by appointment.
Appointments can be made beginning Wednesday morning by calling 904-253-1140. The phone line will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The line will be closed on New Years Eve and New Years Day.
Several other counties around the state received their first shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine and are beginning the process of vaccinating high priority groups.