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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says he'll wait on getting COVID-19 vaccine until elderly receive it


'I am not the priority, they're the priority'

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said Wednesday that while he is willing to take one of the newly-developed vaccines for COVID-19, he believes seniors should take priority over healthy younger people — including leaders like himself.

What are the details?

WPTV-TV reported that DeSantis made remarks during a visit to watch three senior citizens receive the Moderna vaccine at the Kings Point community in Delray Beach.

On his way out of the press conference, DeSantis was asked about whether he had been vaccinated for the coronavirus yet, to which he replied: "What I've said is I'm willing to take it, but I'm not the priority." Pointing across the room, the governor said, "They're the priority."

"I'm under 45," he explained. "People under 45 are not going to be first in line for this, so when it's my turn I will take it, but this is who I want to be vaccinated. I want my parents, our grandparents to be able to get it."

DeSantis said during the presser, "You talk about a place like Kings Point, you have people from the Greatest Generation, people who fought in World War II, survived the Holocaust – these are people that we've got to stand with and prioritize."

The recent FDA emergency approvals of two COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. have sparked debate over who should be first to receive the inoculations for the virus that has proven to be more fatal in elderly populations.

Under the federal government's distribution, several younger members of Congress have faced criticism from colleagues for taking the jab ahead of citizens who are statistically more vulnerable to the disease. But a number of House members have held off on receiving the vaccine, voicing the same reasoning DeSantis echoed.

On one side of the debate are folks who believe elected officials should take the vaccine publicly to build the public's trust in the safety of the shots, while others say those politicians are jumping the line in front of those who need the vaccine most.

Acknowledging the topic, DeSantis quipped, "Granted I'm an elected official but whoop dee doo. At the end of the day, let's focus on where the risk is."

Anything else?

Fox News reported that Florida is currently experiencing long wait times for seniors who are lining up to take the vaccines that the governor's executive order from last week makes available to health care workers, nursing home residents, and anyone in the state age 65 and over.

"Supply is limited," DeSantis told his audience on Wednesday. He acknowledged, "We don't have enough vaccines for all four million plus senior citizens in Florida," but said more doses are expected to continue to flow in.

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