DeSantis Announces Ranch Vaccines Amid Controversy

Todays News

BY JACOB OGLES SRQ DAILY FRESHLY SQUEEZED CONTENT EVERY MORNING THURSDAY FEB 18, 2021

Gov. Ron DeSantis held a press conference in Lakewood Ranch to announce a distribution site at the Premier Sports Campus. But controversy around how this site was chosen for a boost in booster shots drew scrutiny on the event.

Manatee County announced earlier in the week that the 3,000 Moderna vaccines would be available only to those in the 34202 and 34211 ZIP codes. The community hub for vaccines was set up through the developer, and those age 65 and older who are eligible to receive vaccines will be contacted directly about availability. DeSantis announced the vaccines at a podium alongside Manatee County Commissioner Vanessa Baugh, who represents Lakewood Ranch and helped negotiate the additional vaccines.

But since those two zip codes happen to be the wealthiest in the county, according to Census data, that’s raised eyebrows. DeSantis said Wednesday it should not matter. “We’re not diverting from what counties are normally getting,” he stressed. “It’s over and above.”

Thousands of vaccines will still be made available through the Manatee County Department of Health and to local hospitals, and those will still be available to anyone who can set up appointments.

But DeSantis said the state has tried to reach populations with low percentages of seniors getting the vaccine. There have been similar hubs set up at The Villages, Sun City Center and Delray Beach, but the state has also reached out to communities through houses of wordship including churches, synagogues and mosques, ways to serve minority communities that are sometimes reluctant to take the vaccine.

A recent review of progress vaccinating seniors showed Manatee, Sarasota and Charlotte counties with lower than average percentages of eligible individuals getting shots in arms, DeSantis said.

“It wasn’t a choice about ZIP codes,” he said. “It’s about where there is a high concentration of seniors.”

And if there’s controversy about sending the shots to Lakewood Ranch, he suggested the vaccines could go elsewhere in the future.

“If you want us to send it to Sarasota next time, or Charlotte or Pasco or wherever, let us know,” he said.

Screenshot from Florida Channel

« View The Thursday Feb 18, 2021 SRQ Daily Edition
« Back To SRQ Daily Archive

Read More

Manatee Memorial Hospital First in Manatee County to Receive the ACC Transcatheter Valve Certification

Manatee Memorial Hospital First in Manatee County to Receive the ACC Transcatheter Valve Certification

Mar 2, 2021

First in Manatee County to Offer Innovative TCAR Procedure to Treat Carotid Artery Disease

First in Manatee County to Offer Innovative TCAR Procedure to Treat Carotid Artery Disease

Feb 16, 2021

SMH Provides Second Vaccinations for Newtown Community

SMH Provides Second Vaccinations for Newtown Community

Feb 12, 2021

Tidewell, Stratum Workers Face Vaccine Access Challenges

Tidewell, Stratum Workers Face Vaccine Access Challenges

Jacob Ogles | Feb 8, 2021