Collier County, Vaccine DeSantis gives vaccine distribution update from Publix in Jupiter

You can’t beat this. No wonder why everyone wants to come down here. Uh. We have a great announcement today and i want to thank publix uh for partnering with us before i make that announcement. I just want to give a quick state of where we are in terms of the vaccinations. As many of you know, we are the first state in the country to say when we’re vaccinating the general public we’re putting seniors first we’re, going to focus on 65 and plus and we’re going to get through our senior citizens before we start worrying about young and Healthy workers – and you have some guidelines and experts were saying – do a 20 year old, healthy worker over a 74 year old, grandma, grandmother or grandfather that’s not happening in florida, we’re focusing on seniors and so as of right. Now we are close to 700 000 seniors that have received at least their first shot and those numbers are growing rapidly. The reporting on this does lag and i think it’s also important to look back. You remember a couple weeks ago everyone was saying: oh, the u.s isn’t, using the shots there’s all these shots laying around in december. I think there was some truth to that because the holidays, you didn’t, see it ramp up, but i can tell you in florida now that we’re we have the reporting of that first full week and even last week, you’re going to have more and more shots reported, But even what we have now so monday, the 4th through sunday, the 10th that’s the first full week after the holidays, everyone’s back there were 350 initial doses, initial shots given in that one week in florida.

This past week monday, through the 11th through sunday, the 17th we’re already reporting over 400 000 shots and they’re still going to be shots reported because sometimes these take three or four days to be able to report. So those those are at a clip faster than we’re. Getting the vaccine now we did have a dump in december, so some of that is why there, but we have the capacity to do even more than this if we continue to get the vaccine, and so you know people talk about, do x, do why really for Us we have the throughput if you’re able to get us more vaccine, which i’ve asked the federal government, we will be able to do even more than for the 400 000 we did last week and so uh. I think that that’s uh that’s great. I think that that’s, a testament, some of the hospitals, have done a great job county health departments, in conjunction with the state setting up sites, but also publix, has played a big role in that, particularly in the last week or two and so that’s. Why we’re here today i was, i went down. I was down here last week meeting with the mayor mayor kerner, as well as some of the other folks in the county discussing how things are going. This is not only one of our biggest counties, but you have 25 percent of this county is 65 and older, so we, this is the first county palm beach, where we did a pod, where we brought it to a senior living community and vaccinated hundreds of seniors Right on site, but it was also one we knew that we were going to have to continue to look for innovative ways to be able to reach so many seniors, and so we discussed different options about okay, as we get more.

What do you want to do? I told them about the partnership that we’ve had with publix. Now we started in three counties in central florida, citrus hernando and marion, and we had the vaccine at 22 different publix pharmacies. They do between 100 and 125 shots a day at each individual location, and i actually, when we did it, i just showed up and hernando started talking to all the seniors and the response has been uniformly positive. I’Ve received a lot of correspondence from people that are so happy because it’s convenient you know, not every senior is going to drive halfway across town or across a county to go to a drive through site. They need something that’s more convenient, so we really felt that that was something that was very good. So last week we expanded the partnership to 83 additional publix pharmacies in northwest northeast and southwest florida and – and that has gone very, very well. People are happy they’re able to get the vaccine, and so, when i met with the folks in the county, they said that by their calculations, 90 percent of all seniors in palm beach county live within a mile and a half of at least one publix, and so I’Ve said: okay: if we get it into the publix’s, then you’re going to be able to have easy access for senior citizens throughout this county and so today it’s a great announcement to say that we are expanding the state’s partnership with publix to palm beach county and That will include – and that will include all 67 publix pharmacies in palm beach county, and so, if you think about that throughput that’s a hundred to 125 shots at each one of those a day and so up to this point, we’ve done.

We’Ve worked with publics in in medium sized counties with high senior populations. This is the first really large county that we’re doing with a high senior population, but we’re really excited and it’s, not just palm beach, we’re. Also doing seven publix pharmacies in martin county, as well as two publix pharmacies and monroe county uh, they’re, doing isla morata and they’re doing key west, and so south florida is going to have a lot of publixes. And and of course, we will do more as we get more vaccine in so with the announcement of palm beach martin in monroe, we will now have 181 publix pharmacies across 15 counties providing vaccines to senior citizens, and i just want to emphasize for everybody the way Publix is doing it, i think, is the right way: it’s by appointment. Only so don’t just show up. They have a process for this it’s been very orderly, very easy. When, when you follow the process with the appointment you go in, they they run it like clockwork. You have to be observed for 15 minutes after the shot, but then you’re on your way. So this is something that’s been very convenient, but it is important that people know that it is appointment only if you show up unannounced they’re just going to simply give you the information about how to how to sign up. You can visit covid vaccine for more information just want to let everyone know this is the reservations are going to be open, starting tomorrow, wednesday uh for these new sites, and then the shots will begin on thursday.

So this is going to happen very quickly and we’re really really excited about it. Um we’re also excited about uh continuing to put seniors first, i think if you look we’re doing more and more uh each week we are doing more than we’re getting allotted on a weekly basis. Now and um you know. Obviously, there was some surplus from the december period of christmas and new year’s, but we we want to expand we’re, ready to accept more vaccine and – and i think our senior citizens have really appreciated uh. You know that florida’s putting them first and we’re, going to continue to do that until every senior that has a vaccine who wants a vaccine, has had a vaccine we’re going to continue, focusing on seniors, first and we’re, going to look for different ways to be able To get it into communities right now, all 67 counties people have access to at least one site in every county in florida. Now, obviously, there are some counties. You know where you have a lot of big hospital system. They got a lot of different places. It’S, like orlando miami dade, but even the rural counties, have at least one place where you can get the vaccine and here in palm beach. Obviously this is going to be a major force multiplier to be able to have over 60 public stores throughout this county. Where seniors will be able to go, get it and and then they will schedule you for a for a booster shot, the way they’re doing it.

You know you do get your card and everything and then publix is reaching out to people scheduling them when the appropriate time comes so most of the vaccine. I think publix has been using is moderna, so that’s a 28 day lag in terms of the in terms of the booster shot uh, but i want to thank publix for what they’re doing uh we’ve uh we my view is, is look when things work. You want to follow through that. If people are satisfied, you want to do it, so we feel that there’s been great satisfaction here. We also feel like there’s, been great satisfaction in some of the drive through testing sites that we’ve done, whether it’s hard rock stadium in miami, whether it’s at the villages in in central florida at the big senior community there or some of the county health sites. We’Ve gotten some great feedback about what’s, going on in martin county, for example, and some other great places. We also like the houses of worship being able to bring these on sundays to houses of worship. We’Ve done a lot of african american churches, so we’re going to continue to want to do there, so this has really picked up a lot of momentum. I think if you look nationwide, we had a few days as a country where we were over a million shots in one day and obviously florida we’ve had days where we’ve done over 80 000 shots. In one day, when we were planning this, we figured hey.

If we could get up to 50 000 a day and really do that, that would be a good clip, we’re we’re much beyond that when we have the supply. So publix is here in palm beach and martin counties as well as monroe. You can start signing up tomorrow morning, wednesday and on thursday the shots will begin so it’s an exciting day, it’s an exciting announcement, and i look forward to the seniors in this part of the state enjoying the experience. The same way, i’ve seen seniors from other parts of the state, enjoy it well, we’re they’re doing everyone in palm beach and so well. You know we we initially just focused on some counties that had high senior populations, but maybe not as robust health systems, as you would see in like a miami dade or like in orlando, and then we tried to focus on medium sized counties that had a lot Of seniors now this is the first really large county that that we’re doing and it’s obviously a lot more stores. I mean when you’re in a place like hernando you’re talking, maybe 10 publixes, 7 8 publixes when you’re in palm beach and you’re over 60 that’s. A lot, but we have confidence that this is a good system here, and we know that they’ll put the doses to good use, so we’re happy to be able to expand it here. But i think the pilot was designed to really okay there’s, going to be 22 stores across three different counties: let’s see how it goes and when it went swimmingly and so now, we’re going to expand.

Is there any updated timeline after when the vaccine will be readily available to everyone? I think it depends on how much vaccine we get, and i think you’ve seen johnson and johnson has now had some preliminary data about their one dose vaccine. We anticipate that potentially getting an emergency use authorization sometime in february now the production on that i actually talked to steve hahn, the fda, commissioner, i think on friday, thursday or friday and um just asked him how it’s going he. He was very optimistic about the efficacy, but i we’re not sure i guess exactly the production, but if they produce that at a wide scale, that’s one dose doesn’t require a deep freeze, and so that would be something that you would be able to probably get out Into the but that’s going to be dependent on when it’s, what the data says. Ultimately, when it’s approved and then how many doses are available, we are anticipating from talking with warp speed over the last week or so that florida will start getting more on a weekly basis than we’ve been getting we’ve been getting basically about 265 000 between pfizer and Moderna, but as the numbers i cited you the first two full weeks that we’ve done it we’ve been 350 and over 400, so we clearly can do it. So i think they’re going to give us more just naturally, because there’s going to be more vaccine, but then i also think if they stick to this idea of the places with higher senior populations get more in viewing it.

That way, then, that obviously helps us, because we have 21 percent of our state is 65 and over there’s a lot of other states, even some large states that are much less than that. So that’ll be helpful for us, so yeah we’re gon na we’re sticking with seniors first uh. But i do think that, as you get more, whether it’s astrazeneca, whether it’s the johnson and johnson that and if you think about it from a workforce perspective, if you’re doing employees you don’t, want to mess with the booster shot. You would just want a one dose vaccine. You don’t want to mess with the deep freeze, it’s much easier. I think if you’re talking about a police department or a school district or some of those things, and at this point, even if you were to get a a modern like at the beginning of february, you’d still need to get that second shot. Later. We may be at the point where, as we get to the end of february, you have a johnson and johnson and you have some of these other things it’s florida residents. So you know we now we are doing martin, but we understand how that can go so um. You know it is florida florida residents, but we just understand how, particularly in south florida, you can have cross county that’s. Fine. We just want to make sure it’s for floridians yeah. So well, let me just say so: there hasn’t actually been.

I mean a large number, i mean there. There have been some folks, but the vast majority of those folks are florida residents at least part time, so they live here in the winter and have home hospital, latin or whatever we’re, discouraging that, where, in fact that you may even see something come out of akka. Just saying like look, this is for for for florida residents, i mean we understand a place like north palm beach county. You have people that live here, six months, that’s fine, they use the hospitals here they pay taxes but to just kind of come in from another country or whatever. You know. We don’t support that and we’re not going to allow that. But i would say this: what does it say? I mean we’re, obviously doing a good job of getting senior shots if people are willing to come here from all over the place. I mean you know they. You know there were people i read, there was one guy was like yeah, you know. If i was in you know another state i wouldn’t have even been eligible for this and so um. You know we’re, not gon na. Do that we’re not doing vaccine tourism, but i do think it does show that that folks understand that when the experts were saying to do the workers first florida put seniors first and now people are starting to follow what we’re doing so. I think it’s going to make a big difference.

I mean uh. If you look at uh, you know the number of people we’re vaccinating we keep doing it. Uh man that’s gon na. I think it’s gon na save a lot of lives and the thing is, is you know this thing’s got a cycle to it naturally, and so, if you wait on the seniors, you know there’s going to be some some time there, where they’re going to be some Of them may be exposed so we’re working to get as many done as possible and – and i think that that’s going to prove to be to be the right strategy, so i’m happy to be in palm beach. I was happy to be able to meet with mayor kerner and everyone. Last week, they’ve been working really hard. We’Ve worked very closely together. We wanted to see what more can we do to help seniors in palm beach, county and uh, and – and i think everyone at that table last week – thought you know what, if you get it into publix uh, our seniors that’s, very easy for them to be able To do, rather than have them drive all over god’s creation. We we understand, i mean, if you’re 80 years old, it’s easier to go to the supermarket than some of this we’re able to do it in publix. We continue to great great feedback, uh we’re, going to look to expand it as we get more vaccine thanks. Everybody thanks guys appreciate it good to see you guys, god bless.

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Collier County, Vaccine LIVE: Gov. Ron DeSantis in Jupiter, Florida

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