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Florida teachers, police could get coronavirus vaccines soon, DeSantis says

The governor suggested those 50 and older would get shots at federal vaccination sites set to open soon.
A teacher works with students at Apollo Beach Elementary in Hillsborough County while everyone wears masks. Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday that teachers and law enforcement officers who are 50 and older will get access to vaccines next, but he did not go into detail.
A teacher works with students at Apollo Beach Elementary in Hillsborough County while everyone wears masks. Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday that teachers and law enforcement officers who are 50 and older will get access to vaccines next, but he did not go into detail. [ Twitter ]
Published Feb. 23
Updated Feb. 24

Classroom teachers and sworn law enforcement officers will be next for vaccines in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis suggested at a news conference Tuesday in Hialeah.

The state will likely start with teachers and police who are age 50 and older, he said. They’ll get access at four sites set to be opened soon by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, one of which will be at the Tampa Greyhound Track.

“Because we have these extra doses … we want that to be open not just to seniors, but to sworn law enforcement and classroom teachers,” DeSantis told reporters Tuesday. “We’ll start with probably 50 and up.”

Tuesday was the first time the governor shared information about which groups will get access to vaccines after seniors 65 and older, who he’s deemed his first priority. But the announcement came with few details, and nothing further has been released by his office.

Related: Who gets vaccinated next? Florida’s the only state that doesn’t tell you.

DeSantis said the state has been polling law enforcement agencies to gauge interest in vaccination among officers 50 and older. It’s unclear whether the state did the same for teachers.

The governor’s appearance in Miami-Dade County was focused on different news: The opening of several more vaccination sites at CVS Pharmacy y más and Navarro Discount Pharmacy stores. The area has seen lagging vaccine rates, and the state is trying to address that, DeSantis said.

A similar announcement was made last week in Tampa Bay, where DeSantis announced an effort to “surge more doses” to Pinellas County, which had only vaccinated about 35 percent of residents 65 and older as of Thursday, DeSantis said.

The governor said Tuesday that those efforts will continue across the state where vaccination rates are low. He noted Hernando County as an example, saying the area is “still not where they need to be.”

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