Coming Soon: Vaccines for 55 and older

RN Latonjia Washington gives a patient their COVID vaccine at Top of the World in Ocala, Florida, Friday, March 5, 2021. [Cyndi Chambers/Correspondent] 2021

Home » Government
Posted March 18, 2021 | The News Service of Florida

RN Latonjia Washington gives a patient their COVID vaccine at Top of the World in Ocala on March 5. [Cyndi Chambers/Correspondent]

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.

Through Tuesday, 75,010 people in Marion County have been vaccinated, with 43,326 fully immunized. Locally, approximately 57% of the 65-and-up population has been vaccinated, up from 41% two weeks ago. The county ranks 17th out of Florida’s 67 counties in the number of vaccinated seniors, according to county emergency management officials.


newspaper icon

Support community journalism

The first goal of the Ocala Gazette is to deliver trustworthy local journalism so corruption, misinformation and abuse are not hidden from the public or unchallenged.

We count on community support to continue this important work. Please donate or subscribe: