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DeSantis: Vaccinations Expanding For Police, Firefighters, Teachers

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gestures as he speaks to the media at a coronavirus vaccination site at Lakewood Ranch Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, in Bradenton.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday he will expand COVID-19 vaccinations to law-enforcement officers, firefighters and K-12 teachers who are age 50 or older.

DeSantis told reporters he would issue an executive order later Monday that will mark an additional expansion of vaccinations that have focused since late December on people age 65 or older.

On Friday, DeSantis issued an executive order that allows physicians to vaccinate people under 65 who are deemed “extremely vulnerable” to the disease. The executive order also will allow advanced practice registered nurses and pharmacists to provide shots to such people if physicians determine that the recipients are extremely vulnerable.

Previously, only hospitals were authorized to give shots to people under 65 deemed extremely vulnerable. DeSantis indicated last week that he was likely to expand vaccinations to law-enforcement officers, firefighters and teachers 50 or older.

An executive order will finalize that decision.

DeSantis said the expansion is bolstered, at least in part, by federal approval of a Johnson & Johnson vaccine. He said Florida could get 175,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine this week.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires only single doses, unlike Pfizer and Moderna vaccines that require two doses.