by Pat Raia
Those 65 years of age and older and anyone who resides or works in a long term care facility will top the priority list for receiving COVID-19 vaccinations under an Executive Order issued by Gov. Ron DeSantis last week. Health care personnel who have direct contact with patients also get priority under the order.
Signed on Dec. 23, the executive order also allows hospital health care providers to vaccinate anyone they deem “extremely vulnerable” to the virus.
DeSantis' order comes after a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) panel voted on Dec. 20 to make people age 75 years or older and “essential workers” including firefighters, police officers, teachers, and corrections officers priorities for vaccinations.
“It makes no sense for someone that’s 42 to jump ahead of somebody that’s 70 years old,” DeSantis said while issuing the order.
According to the Florida Department of Health (DOH) as of Dec. 27, 118,764 Floridians have received their first dose of vaccine.
In Hernando County, a total of 625 people have received the first dose of the vaccine.
A total of 1,271,979 COVID-19 cases have been reported in Florida since the pandemic began, according to DOH.
As of Dec. 28, a total of 7,029 cases have been reported in Hernando County since the pandemic began, the DOH said.