Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday that he will soon lower the eligibility age to 55 for COVID-19 vaccinations, as demand appears slower for shots even with the eligibility age lowered Monday from 65 to 60.
“I think that lowering that age is something that’s going to happen, hopefully, pretty soon,” DeSantis said while at a vaccination site in Palm Harbor. “We just want to make sure when we do the announcement that we don’t create a crush on the system.”
DeSantis has focused heavily on vaccinating seniors but lowered the eligibility age to 60 as vaccines became more plentiful and as demand from people 65 and older began to slow. The state also has made eligible firefighters, law enforcement officers and K-12 school employees who are 50 and older.
Health care workers and patients deemed by physicians to be extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 also can sign up under the state’s guidelines. All K-12 school employees are eligible for vaccinations at Federal Emergency Management Agency sites. More than 4.4 million people in Florida have received at least one dose, including about 120,000 who have received a single-dose vaccine produced by Johnson & Johnson. Vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna require two doses.