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Gov. DeSantis announces distribution plan for COVID-19 vaccine

Florida could see first doses within 24 to 48 hours post vaccine approval.

TAMPA, Fla — The governor put out a plan Friday explaining how the coronavirus vaccine will be distributed in Florida.

At a news conference at the Tampa Fire Museum, Gov. Ron DeSantis said with approval the state could see its first doses in the next 24 to 48 hours.

The first people who will be vaccinated will be those in long-term care facilities and healthcare workers in our hospitals who are coming face to face with COVID patients.

Out of 180,000 doses, a little less than 100,000 will go to 5 major hospitals including Tampa General.

These hospitals were selected based on storage capacity for the doses they get and the temperature they need to be stored at.

DeSantis hopes by next week, more doses will be shipped out to other hospitals and believes that if Moderna’s vaccine is authorized, we will have more doses from them than we will get from Pfizer. Moderna's vaccine can be kept at regular freezer temps.

DeSantis says his goal is to start vaccinating senior citizens and the elderly and our front line workers and teachers.

He says hospitals are ready for the vaccine and so are CVS and Walgreens stores that will be helping administer the vaccine.

“I think the fact that we're not mandating it helps our credibility, because the minute you mandate, man, people would would be in their corner, and you would have a lot of problems. And so we're offering it we want as soon as there's enough supply for everyone who wants it to get it free of charge. That's the goal. That will take months. But but that's the goal. But no one will be forced to take it.”

When that vaccine does get to Florida, the Governor says strike teams will go out to long-term care facilities in Pinellas County to help with those vaccinations.

RELATED: Report: FDA races to grant emergency use authorization for Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine by Friday evening

RELATED: Gov. DeSantis says $23 million from CARES Act will go to statewide mental health services

RELATED: Pinellas nursing homes will be among first to receive COVID-19 vaccine

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