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DeSantis Says People Need To Make Their Own Decisions About COVID Booster Shots

Marta Lavandier
Associated Press
Gov. Ron DeSantis answers questions related to school openings and the wearing of masks, Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021, in Surfside.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said whatever the federal government approves for the next round of COVID-19 vaccinations, booster shots will be available in Florida.

“If you want to go to CVS, CVS will simply fill whatever fits the emergency use authorization. We’re not going to try to block that, that's going to be people's choices,” DeSantis said Wednesday during an appearance in West Palm Beach to open a monoclonal antibody treatment site.

DeSantis added he hasn’t seen trial data on boosters shots. And he said people who have already received the first two shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines will have to make their own decisions about whether to get the extra shots. He suggested people talk with their doctors and read up on the literature if they are concerned about potential side effects.

Earlier Wednesday, the Biden administration recommended booster shots for vaccinated people to offset potential waning immunity as the highly contagious delta variant spreads. Boosters are expected to be available Sept. 20.

The administration suggested people get booster shots eight months after they received the second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, according to a joint statement from officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, surgeon general’s office and the Food and Drug Administration.

"The available data make very clear that protection against … infection begins to decrease over time following the initial doses of vaccination, and in association with the dominance of the delta variant, we are starting to see evidence of reduced protection against mild and moderate disease," the officials said in the statement.

Florida has been a hot spot for the spread of the delta variant, reporting 23,335 new cases on Tuesday, according to the CDC. The state had a seven-day “moving” average of 21.569 new cases as of Tuesday.