DeSantis wants new federally-supported sites to vaccinate law enforcement, teachers age 50+

Reporter: Anika Henanger Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:
Lt. Gov. Nunez, Gov. Ron DeSantis and CVS Ymas/Navarro Regional Director Ahmed Velez

Gov. Ron DeSantis held a press conference at the Navarro Discount Pharmacy in Hialeah on Tuesday.

DeSantis said he wants federally-supported sites to be open for vaccinations to sworn law enforcement officers, and classroom teachers who are age 50 and over.

Vaccination sites in Southwest Florida such as the old airport location in Bonita Springs will remain exclusive to seniors 65 and older and health care workers at this time.

Our teachers and our first responders will have to go to Miami, Tampa, Orlando or Jacksonville to get the vaccine.

It’s a pair of shots these community members believe will help them do their jobs much better.

Every time someone gets a shot in the arm, there’s someone else out there somewhere who wants I too.

“There’s a certain amount of discomfort that goes with that, maybe even guilt because they deserve to be vaccinated,” said Sue Pattie, a school counselor in Lee County.

Pattie is 65 years old, and she has received both her first and second doses, but she can’t ignore all the teachers who haven’t.

“The level of stress, anxiety and fear is still there, not only for themselves but their immediate family,” Pattie said.

Pattie’s prayers could soon be answered with the governor’s announcement.

It also comes as a relief to Kevin Daly, the president of Teachers Association-Lee County.

“To keep that up, to keep everybody safe and to keep the momentum going and the learning happening, we really need to look at getting access to the vaccine,” Daly said.

In Lee County, at least 287 teachers and school staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 since September 2020.

Over at the Fort Myers Police Department, there have been 60 positives for personnel and 130 exposures.

“Officer are definitely more exposed than the average person, so having that vaccine availability to the officer may give them more peace of mind,” said FMPD Lt. Jason Pate.

Concerns of seniors

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