TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday night that Florida will receive 307,000 new doses of the COVID-19 vaccine next week.
"Fortunately, we just learned that next week, Florida will receive 307,000 first doses from the federal government," DeSantis said in a statement on Twitter. "While we welcome this modest increase, supply remains a critical issue in vaccinating our 65 and older population."
We just learned Florida’s vaccine allocation for next week. My statement ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/Y0t7IaMU8z— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) January 27, 2021
DeSantis has been sparring with the White House over the state's distribution of the vaccine.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that Florida has "only distributed about 50% of the vaccines" given to the state.
"So clearly, they have a good deal of the vaccine," she said.
But DeSantis pushed back Tuesday, calling the White House's claims "disingenuous."
"We are No. 1 in the country for doses per capita for the top 10 states -- the top 10 most populous states," DeSantis said during a news conference to announce the expansion of the vaccine to Publix pharmacies in Indian River and St. Lucie counties.
The Republican governor said the doses of the vaccine that Florida is withholding are the second shots for the state's senior population.
"My administration will continue working hard to swiftly distribute the vaccine to Florida's seniors, while requesting the federal government to increase our supply as quickly as possible," DeSantis wrote.
Speaking during a news conference Wednesday morning in Sun City Center, DeSantis wanted to make sure seniors know that Florida is ready to provide them with the necessary second dose.
"We are gonna give you the second dose," he said. "I mean, when people say that somehow this should be used other ways, that is not the way it works. This is approved for a two-dose regimen and that's what we're doing."
DeSantis said he believes the state will soon be distributing 50,000 to 60,000 doses per day.
"But when somebody gets a dose at like a hospital and the second doses come in, wherever those doses are administered, the second doses are sent to those places," he said.
DeSantis said the new shipment is expected to arrive Monday or Tuesday but admitted "sometimes it doesn't get here until Wednesday."
When it comes to determining where the new shipment of the vaccine will be distributed, DeSantis said he tries to look at "what percentage of seniors in each area has received a vaccine."
DeSantis said the next batch of vaccine isn't going to be a "game changer."
"But it is helpful," he said. "We're gonna put it to use."