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Gov. DeSantis lowering vaccine eligibility age to 40 starting Monday, 18 starting April 5

While other states have already expanded to offer COVID-19 vaccines to all adults, some doctors in Florida have warned against moving too quickly.

TAMPA, Fla. — Florida is on track for what's been referred to as "open season" for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Starting Monday, March 29, people age 40 and older will be eligible to receive a vaccine. Then, beginning the following Monday, April 5, all individuals age 18 and older will be eligible.

Gov. Ron DeSantis made the announcement Thursday in a video posted to his social media accounts.

RELATED: Am I eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Florida?

In the video, the governor said Florida is ready to take this next step as the state has had "great progress on those age 60 to 64 and those age 50 and older."

"If you look at the hospitalization and case rates for senior citizens, they have plummeted since the start of our Seniors First strategy," DeSantis added.

RELATED: Where to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Florida

This sets Florida ahead of the Biden Administration's plan of making the vaccine available to all Americans before May 1, a goal Gov. Ron DeSantis has been looking to beat in recent weeks.

On Tuesday, Texas and Georgia announced COVID-19 vaccines would be available to all adults. 

However, some doctors in Florida warned against following other states’ leads too soon, as more than 1 million people in our most vulnerable age groups have still not been vaccinated.

Health experts also say people still need to wear a mask after being vaccinated.

“Fully vaccinated means that your less likely to have symptomatic infection we still are uncertain that you’re not able to be carrier for it," Chief Medical Officer for Memorial Hospital, Dr. Albert Holt told our Florida sister-station.

RELATED: County-by-county COVID-19 vaccine information for Tampa Bay seniors

According to the Florida Department of Health's latest report, 2,351,572 people across the state's 67 counties have been given the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Another 2,666,831 people have received the second dose and 186,836 people have gotten the Johnson & Johnson single-dose shot, meaning they are considered fully immunized. 

The CDC reports, as of March 25, 8,396,727 shots have been administered to Floridians since vaccinating efforts began.

Anyone looking to get ahead of the curve can begin pre-registering online in certain counties.

Hillsborough and Pinellas County officials say residents can click here to input their information ahead of their age group's eligibility date. While counties like Sarasota and Polk are allowing people 18 and older to register for their chance to receive a COVID vaccine on each of its respective portals.

You can watch the governor's full announcement below.

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