DeSantis: 175,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine could arrive in Florida this week

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The governor says the J&J shipment could vaccinate all teachers, firefighters, and police ages 50+

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday he expects about 175,000 doses of the newly authorized Johnson & Johnson vaccine to be delivered to the state this week.

Nearly 4 million doses of J&J’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine are being delivered to US states starting Tuesday.

“I think it’s gonna be a real value added,” DeSantis said in Tallahassee Monday. “Don’t know for sure if we’ll definitely get it this week, but we think we probably will.”

The governor said they don’t know exactly how much the state will receive, but he thinks it will be around 175,000 doses.

“That has not been confirmed yet, but we hope it will be very very soon.”

The FDA said J&J’s vaccine offers strong protection against what matters most: serious illness, hospitalizations and death. One dose was 85% protective against the most severe COVID-19 illness, in a massive study that spanned three continents — protection that remained strong even in countries such as South Africa, where the variants of most concern are spreading.

DeSantis says Florida having the J&J vaccine will “absolutely save lives” and reduce hospital admissions.

Because of the increase in vaccine supply, DeSantis said he’ll be signing an executive order Monday expanding vaccine eligibility to all sworn law enforcement officers, firefighters, and school personnel ages 50 and up.

“We probably could do all of that … with just our J&J shipment,” the governor said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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