TALLAHASSEE, Fla — Florida Governor Ron DeSantis released a video message about recent news regarding coronavirus treatments and upcoming vaccine distributions in the state.
In the nearly six-minute video, the governor highlighted treatments currently used in hospitals, including the FDA-approved therapeutic developed by Eli Lilly. More than 3,000 doses of the therapeutic have been delivered to Florida hospitals over the last few days, DeSantis said. And, a similar amount of doses will continue to be delivered to hospitals for the "foreseeable future."
"The State of Florida is prepared to work with the federal government to distribute vaccines to Florida hospitals in the upcoming weeks, as well as new therapeutic treatments for those most vulnerable," DeSantis tweeted.
DeSantis also highlighted Florida hospitals that can properly and effectively store Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine. Those include Tampa General Hospital.
The governor said, based on what he has heard from the federal government and pending FDA approval of Pfizer and Moderna's COVID-19 vaccines, Florida hospitals could begin to receive vaccines in the next three to six weeks.
He says about 2,000 long-term care facilities have registered to receive vaccines when they are made available. Additionally, CVS and Walgreens will work to distribute vaccines to those facilities.
DeSantis said the state's goal is to make "safe and effective COVID vaccines available to Floridians who want them." There will not be a statewide mandate to take the vaccine.
He called the breakthroughs "rays of hope with the potential to save thousands of lives" and potentially "bring an end to the COVID-19 pandemic."
On Wednesday, five Florida mayors, including St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman, urged DeSantis to change the state's approach to COVID-19 as daily case numbers and the percent positive rate continue to trend higher.
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