April 4, 2021 April 4, 2021
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced that starting Monday, April 5, anyone over the age of 18 can be vaccinated against COVID-19.
“We have made great progress and I hope to continue working hard to make sure that everyone in Florida who wants a vaccine can do so,” DeSantis said through a video posted on his official Twitter account.
Florida lowered the vaccination age to 50 in the last week of March, arguing that most of the older people in that state had already been immunized against the virus. “We have now vaccinated more than 70% of the approximately 4.4 million older people who live in the state,” he noted.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, the virus has infected more than 2 million Floridians and 32,000 fatalities.
The announcement came after Orange and Miami-Dade counties had already lowered the eligibility age to 40, beginning in Orange last Monday and Miami-Dade next week.
DeSantis had said in early March that it would decide when to lower the eligibility age based on the continued demand in each age group and the supply of vaccines. “Every year you decrease in age, there is a little less demand,” he said a few weeks ago.
I’m pleased to announce that beginning this Monday, March 29, all Floridians age 40 and older will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Beginning the following Monday, April 5, all Floridians age 18 and older will be eligible. pic.twitter.com/gJ0HHmiINW
– Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) March 25, 2021
In turn, DeSantis issued an executive order that prohibits companies from requiring customers to show proof that they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to receive the service.
This would be in addition to his rejection of so-called “vaccine passports”, a documentation for the purpose of providing proof of it.
“VACCINATION PASSPORTS REDUCE INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM AND WILL HARM PATIENT PRIVACY.”
Effective immediately, Florida companies are prohibited from requiring customers to provide documentation certifying COVID-19 vaccination to enter the same.
However, the order does not exempt companies such as restaurants and retail stores from screening protocols and other measures recommended by state and federal health officials.