Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday said people need to have “tempered expectations” on a vaccine solving the problem of COVID-19.
The Governor, answering a question about the federal government wanting states to provide vaccination sites by the end of next month, asserted that a vaccine may not be effective and may prove fatal for the elderly, a “vulnerable” population.
“Two things I’ve said on vaccines: I’m glad everyone’s trying to get one. I hope we get one. But I mean, you know the flu vaccine is like 50% effective,” DeSantis said, during a VISIT FLORIDA highlight event in Daytona Beach.
The Governor added that “the fatality rate of the people who got the flu shot in the senior population is significant relative to the rest of the population.”
“People should have tempered expectations on that,” DeSantis said. “I wouldn’t want everyone to think that, you know, two more months [the virus] is going to be gone. Maybe it will be, but you’ve got to plan for all these contingencies.”
Despite the higher fatality rate for older people with the flu vaccine, the Governor believes that “the people who are 65 and older” are among those who should have first dibs at a federally provided vaccine.
“If there is a safe and effective vaccine, I think the most vulnerable population should have priority. It should be the people who are 65 and older, it should be people who have serious comorbidities. And they should have the priority.”
DeSantis “would really want senior citizens and anyone with any type of underlying, particularly compromised immune systems, any type of lung damage, some of the folks who may have real severe diabetes.”
“It should be the at risk population that has first dibs,” DeSantis said, adding that the “federal government ought to take a lead.”
“Hopefully they have a plan to do it,” DeSantis said.
The vaccine comments continue what has been a newsy week for the Governor, who is attempting to reassert primacy in the COVID-19 messaging battle as infection rates wane.
On Monday, the Governor brought in a member of the President’s White House Coronavirus Task Force, Dr. Scott Atlas, a recent appointee and noted critic of lockdowns. The Governor and Atlas made three stops, making the case for the necessity of keeping society going despite the virus threat.
“[W]e will never do any of these lockdowns again,” DeSantis said in The Villages Monday.
Yesterday found the state cutting ties with Quest Diagnostics, for what the Governor called an “egregious dump” of stale data, with tests going back weeks before being entered into the system in one batch ahead of Tuesday’s report.