Gov. DeSantis targets vaccination ‘tourism’

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis is working on guidelines meant to stop COVID-19 vaccination “tourism” in Florida.

Appearing at two news conferences Tuesday, DeSantis said he wants to make sure the state’s COVID-19 vaccine supply is being directed to Florida residents.

“That can include people who live here half the year, but it’s not for people just visiting,” the governor said during an appearance in Rockledge.

The effort came after media reports about people from outside the state coming to Florida to get vaccinated.

DeSantis on Dec. 23 issued an executive order that added people 65 and older and health-care workers with direct patient care to the list of people who are eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations.

With more than 4.4 million people in the state 65 and older, the announcement led to a crush of people demanding the vaccines.

Through Monday, Florida had provided 1,066,107 COVID-19 vaccinations, including more than 681,000 to people 65 and older, according to the state Department of Health.