The national press secretary said the state has a fair amount of doses while the Gov. DeSantis insists they need more and does not support Biden’s distribution plan.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Monday that Florida has only administered about half of the vaccines in its allotment.
“I will note, because we’re data-first here, facts-first here,” Psaki said during a news briefing, “they’ve only distributed about 50% of the vaccines they’ve been given in Florida. So clearly, they have a good deal of the vaccine.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been critical of Biden’s distribution plan, saying it is a mistake to use the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and National Guard to distribute vaccines.
The governor said Florida has a distribution infrastructure in place, with hospitals, pharmacies, and some of the main drive-thru testing sites. He insists the state has the capacity to dramatically increase vaccinations if the federal government provides more doses.
Psaki said the process is not just about having enough vaccines on hand but also having a solid and effective vaccination plan in place.
“Part of the challenge, as we were just talking about, is not just having the supply—that’s pivotal—but also having vaccinators and having vaccine distribution places, and doing it in a way that is reaching people where they are and meeting local communities,” the press secretary said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of Tuesday, Florida has received over 3 million doses from the federal government and has administered 1.58 million.
DeSantis admitted the state has unused vaccines, saying they are mostly second doses for seniors who received their first shot and are awaiting their second shot.