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Health News Florida
News about coronavirus in Florida and around the world is constantly emerging. It's hard to stay on top of it all but Health News Florida can help. Our responsibility is to keep you informed, and to help discern what’s important for your family as you make what could be life-saving decisions.

DeSantis: Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Shipments On Hold

A White House official tells NPR that pharmaceutical giant Merck will help manufacture Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine.
The governor urged people to take whichever vaccine is available and not wait for the one-dose Johnson & Johnson version.

Gov. Ron DeSantis says he expects to expand eligibility to people 55 and up sometime this month, but wants to make sure the supply can support the demand.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday he doesn’t expect Florida to receive more shipments of the one-dose Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccines anytime soon. 

“We have no more J&J coming for the foreseeable future. For the next two or three weeks, we’re not anticipating any new J & J and I don’t know what the issue with that is. Hopefully we’ll get more of that soon,” he said at a news conference in Palm Harbor.

He also urged people to take whichever vaccine is available and not wait for the one-dose Johnson & Johnson version. He said there are still plenty of the two-dose Moderna and Pfizer shots in the state, but "our supply is pretty stagnant it seems like over the next few weeks.”

He expects to expand the vaccine eligibility to people 55 and up sometime this month, but wants to make sure the supply can support the demand. Currently, shots are available to ages 60 and over.

First responders are also eligible to get the vaccine, as well as health care workers who have direct contact with patients. And any adult with medical conditions that make them vulnerable to COVID-19 can get vaccinated with a note from a doctor. Anyone working in a school can also get vaccinated, regardless of age.

DeSantis also said 223 Walgreens and 182 CVS pharmacies will offer the vaccines starting this weekend.

That's in addition to 730 Publix, 204 Walmart and Sam’s Club, and 43 Winn-Dixie stores in the state that are inoculating mostly seniors. 

“And so those Walgreens and CVS, this is their bread and butter. They do it very well. The more we can get those stores to have vaccine, I think the easier it is going to be for Floridians to be able to do it,” DeSantis said.

WMFE's Danielle Prieur contributed to this report.