TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – Governor Ron DeSantis announced starting Monday, people ages 50 and up will be able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and soon after, it’ll be opened up to everyone.
Hillsborough County resident, Aimee Charbeneau and her fiancé both have diabetes, and to them, the vaccine is a game-changer. She says her fiancé is “53 and he’s a security guard at Ford Motor Credit so he has to take people’s temperatures and be face-to-face with people all day long. So he definitely needs that vaccine.”READ MORE: 'Plus-Up' Stimulus Checks Going Out To Those Who Were Underpaid
“We’re going to have the wedding with other people and we want to make sure everyone is safe,” said Charbeneau. She and her fiancé haven’t been able to get the vaccine yet, so hearing Governor DeSantis is lowering the age eligibility to 50 and up gives her hope, saying “it’s a big relief to know he won’t be bringing [Covid] home.”READ MORE: Watch The Derek Chauvin Trial Live
Governor DeSantis held a press conference Friday in Tallahassee giving updates on the state’s vaccine timeline. Regarding the expansion in eligibility, he said, “Opening it up will be good. I think the demand has been relatively modest. Certainly much more modest than it was at the end of December when we were doing the 65 and plus.” He added good news for those on the younger side of 50, saying “We will definitely be opening it up to everybody certainly before May first and maybe much sooner than that.”
Charbeneau says while she’s ready for Monday, she is skeptical about how long the 50 and up age range will last. “I hope they give them enough time to actually get the people who are over 50 before they open it up to everybody.” No matter what, after barely leaving the house for over a year now, a shot is what she’s looking forward to. She eagerly shared, “[I’m] happy that I can finally go outside of this house. I think the first thing I’m going to go do is go to my friend’s restaurant in St. Pete.”MORE NEWS: Brookhaven Zumba Class Boosts Energy, Lifts Spirits During Pandemic
DeSantis says next week the state will be receiving 42,000 more doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.