TAMPA, Fla — Vaccination sites across the state of Florida continue to run out of doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
"We've told everyone go through the vaccine. Use what you've got. If you run out then we need the federal government to send us more," Gov. Ron DeSantis said in a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
DeSantis has tried to get more doses over the last few weeks to no avail. Operation Warp Speed is sending the state fewer doses of Pfizer's and Moderna's product as the weeks go on.
"If they give me more vaccine we'll be able to get it out in places where they'll be able to get the shots in the arms in seniors," DeSantis said.
More than a million people have been vaccinated in Florida, but only around 100,300 people have actually gotten two shots. That's less than 10 percent of the state's population.
USF virologist Dr. Michael Teng has a theory as to why it's been so low.
"I think there's been a complete lack of coordination from the top down. From the federal level, down to the state level, down to the counties," Teng said.
In an effort to speed up vaccinations across the country, the incoming Biden administration plans to set up 100 vaccination centers across the country by the end of February. They'll be staffed by FEMA, but DeSantis says Florida doesn't need one.
"That's totally unnecessary. First of all that would take forever to do, you're adding more layers of bureaucracy. The only thing the federal government should be worried about right now is increasing the vaccine shipments," DeSantis said.
But Teng disagrees, saying he'd think differently if the governor's plan had become efficient. He says a plan to give states help should've been in place a while ago.
"This is not rocket science, what he's proposed," Teng said. "The primary directive for the governor should just be getting as many Floridians vaccinated as possible. Whoever's vaccinating shouldn't matter. It shouldn't matter who's actually sticking the needle into people's arms.
"This is a pandemic. Speed is of the essence. If we can get this done, it shouldn't matter who's doing it."
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