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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: COVID Vaccine Coming Soon For Those Who Volunteer To Get It

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said his goal is to make yet-to-be-approved COVID-19 vaccines available to Florida residents who voluntarily agree to get inoculated and that he hopes the vaccines will be available in the next three to six weeks.

“The state of Florida has been working to procure the new treatment for our hospitals and has also made plans to assist in the distribution of a safe and effective vaccine, which we believe will be delivered relatively soon,” DeSantis said in a five-minute video released Thursday.

Pfizer and Moderna have announced development of vaccines with 90 percent efficacy rates in clinical trials. The federal government has secured 40 million doses of the vaccines from the companies - 25 million from Pfizer and 15 million from Moderna.

Because two doses will be required, that would provide vaccines for 20 million people across the country.

Governor Ron DeSantis Provides Update on COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan & New Therapeutics

Once approved by the Food and Drug Administration, DeSantis said the Pfizer vaccine will be distributed to five Florida hospital systems that have the capability to keep the vaccine stored at minus-70 degrees.

The Moderna vaccine does not require such cold storage.

DeSantis’ office released the video two days after the governor met with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield and other federal officials.

In addition to using the video to tout the vaccines, DeSantis also spoke about a new therapeutic drug developed by Eli Lilly that the federal government authorized for emergency use and said more than 3,000 doses have been sent to Florida.

The monoclonal antibody drug is administered intravenously and is targeted for people who are at high risk of severe complications from COVID-19.

“I do believe that these breakthroughs represent probably the greatest rays of hope that we have seen since the pandemic began,” DeSantis said of the vaccines and new therapeutics. “They offer the prospect of saving thousands and thousands of lives, and to potentially bring this pandemic to an end.”