Gov. DeSantis suggests one dose of Pfizer vaccine may be enough

The government is allocating the vaccination on a per capita basis.

Gov. Ron DeSantis just a few days ago said that Americans need to unify behind the science that has led to the rapid development of vaccines. So it was a bit strange that DeSantis on Friday said that perhaps the number of Florida residents who receive COVID-19 vaccinations could be boosted — by not following Pfizer Inc.’s recommended instructions for its vaccine candidate.

The federal government is imminently expected to announce its approval of Pfizer’s vaccine candidate and, within 24 hours of approval, begin shipping the vaccine to Florida and other states. DeSantis said Florida will receive less of the supply than what was initially anticipated, so he came up with a possible way to stretch out the state’s inoculations.

Instead of giving two doses, as recommended by the pharmaceutical manufacturer, to high-risk populations such as nursing home residents and front-line hospital workers, perhaps one dose could do, the Governor suggested Friday.

DeSantis pointed to an article in The Wall Street Journal — it was an opinion piece written by neuroscientist Michael Segal — about the efficacy of the one-dose approach. DeSantis referred to the second dose as a “booster” shot, echoing Segal’s choice of words.

“Just get as many doses out there,” the Governor said during a mental-health roundtable in Tampa on Friday. “I’m not sure that Pfizer would agree or FDA would agree, but I think just the point is, getting that first does out really does make a difference, and I think you’ll see that.”

Pfizer said last month that its vaccine candidate had a 95% effectiveness in providing protection against the virus that causes COVID-19 when two doses are administered three weeks apart. Documents released by the federal government this week showed that the vaccine offers some protection after the first dose. Indeed, the vaccine had an effectiveness of more than 50% about a week after it was administered.

But according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the only vaccine candidate under development that doesn’t require two doses is one being manufactured by Johnson & Johnson.

DeSantis, a close ally of President Donald Trump, told reporters Friday that he thought the vaccinations would be distributed to the state on a risk-adjusted basis, taking things such as the age of the state’s residents into consideration. That would have boded well for Florida, which has the nation’s second-highest proportion of residents over the age of 65.

Instead, the government is allocating the vaccination on a per capita basis, DeSantis said.

Christine Jordan Sexton

Tallahassee-based health care reporter who focuses on health care policy and the politics behind it. Medicaid, health insurance, workers’ compensation, and business and professional regulation are just a few of the things that keep me busy.



    December 13, 2020 at 8:58 pm

    Yeah, because he’s a doctor. Jackass.

  • Palmer Tom

    December 13, 2020 at 10:06 pm

    Yeah, you don’t need a booster shot unless you don’t want to catch whatever the vaccination is intended to prevent.
    Why should anyone listen to the statements of unqualified charlatans?

  • FL Senior

    December 13, 2020 at 10:53 pm

    So what will “Dr Desantis” recommend next? That I take only 1/2 my insulin? Only 1/2 my heart medication? Have only 1/2 of a heart bypass operation? ‘cause 1/2 the protection is “good enough” for everyone (except of course him)

  • Ed

    December 13, 2020 at 11:29 pm

    I would put money on DeSantis getting both doses though!

  • Valerie Sprieser

    December 14, 2020 at 12:05 am

    Desantis your an idiot! You are the worst governor this state has ever had! Are you trying to kill as many Floridians as you can?
    Florida is in the red zone by the CDC measures. Shut this state down now before hundreds of thousands of deaths will be on your hands!
    You are deaths enabler! 👹💀

  • PR

    December 14, 2020 at 12:12 am

    Desantis is and always has been a joke. He needs to be voted out of office and drummed out of Florida. One dose of COVID vaccine is just wasting the precious vaccine if the second dose is what makes us immune. This just goes to show how much this governor cares about the people of his state…. which isn’t much if he’s going to put lives in jeopardy. So many Trumpers in Florida will believe this BS and end up very sick or very dead.

  • Only one

    December 14, 2020 at 1:46 am

    When is the next vote for Governor We must pull together to get him out of there but it might not be many left…….better all people 60 and above follow CDC GUIDELINES FOR COVID-19 AND REFUSE TO GET THE SHOT.. LET HIM TAKE ALL THE DOSES

  • Sonja Fitch

    December 14, 2020 at 4:21 am

    Wtf!!!!!! Desantis clorox?! Desantis you are completely deranged! Get out! Desantis is determined to slaughter as many Floridians as he can! Get out!

  • James

    December 14, 2020 at 4:22 am


  • marcus_m

    December 14, 2020 at 6:52 am

    Pathetic attempt to minimize the fallout from the Orange Blob stupidly placing an inadequate reserve order for the Pfizer vaccine.

  • Charles King

    December 14, 2020 at 7:07 am

    Follow the science. It seems to me that many politicians will say anything whether they know what they are talking about or not, anything to get their name in print or in the media. They should be concentrating on fixing problems they were elected to resolve.

  • Ike

    December 14, 2020 at 8:47 am

    Is recall an option in Florida?

  • Theresa Land

    December 14, 2020 at 8:56 am

    DeSantis is a joke here in Florida, he does not care about the Seniors, he would as soon let them die. He talks nonsense like Trump. Afterall he is Trumps friend and follows him. If we listen to DeSantis we will all be dead. Let’s see who really gets this vaccine in Florida. He should shut things down for 2 weeks, mandate mask wearing and distancing but he won’t because he doesn’t care.

  • Bob

    December 14, 2020 at 9:00 am

    Recall election in November

  • Richard Kszystyniak

    December 14, 2020 at 9:12 am

    Sure! Like you’ve been anywhere near right on anythging else. Just stop running your mouth on things you know nothing about, which is pretty much everything! You’re an embarassment to yourself and all military veterans everywhere.

  • tjb

    December 14, 2020 at 9:40 am

    We have lost 20,000 Floridians to COVID-19. How many of these souls have lost their lives because of DeSantis’s destructed leadership. Even on the simple preventive measure such as wearing of a mask … he will not endorse this measure that will save lives.
    Do we have a serial killer residing in the Governor’s Mansion in Tallahassee?

  • adolfo biagioni

    December 14, 2020 at 9:54 am

    This was a Democratic HOAX only a few months ago!

  • Glenn Reihing

    December 14, 2020 at 10:08 am

    As an ER nurse, I read this article and then I called Pfizer directly to get it “from the horse’s mouth” so to speak.

    According to the manufacture, the recommended administration of the vaccine is two doses given three weeks apart.

    If you have any questions, I recommend that you call Pfizer directly at 800-879-3477. Plan to sit for a while. It took me over 15 minutes to talk with someone. But in her defense, she said that they are getting bombarded by calls about the vaccine.

    DO NOT use our Governor as a source for medical information. He is not credible.

  • D. WATSON.

    December 14, 2020 at 10:18 am

    How does this prick get qualified to make decisions on my health ?

  • Sammy

    December 14, 2020 at 11:49 am

    This Moron needs to shut up and let the healthcare leaders do their job. His need to interject himself into every conversation with his nonsense just shows how insecure he is. DeSantis, you stupid fuck, shut up! Your misinformation campaign is going to get more people killed, especially those who are most vulnerable. Just shut up and go away. People, please get both doses so you are sure to immunized properly. Don’t listen to this idiot. Protect yourself and your families. Ugh!

  • Ronald Hoover

    December 14, 2020 at 11:54 am

    I am unfamiliar with Gov deSantis’ medical degree, usually a legal requirement when publicly opining upon the use/misuse (often called “off lable use) of prescription medication. Given his remarkable level of withholding risk and infection rates in the state, and continuing to supply dangerously false information, one has to ask whose side he is on? Public health and well being, or accelerating the spread, loss, and grief associated with a rapidly escalating pandemic? When did he get a degree or consultant position in medical immunology?

  • Martha

    December 14, 2020 at 12:20 pm

    Better yet, let’s just drink the bleach and avoid the lines at the pharmacy/medical office.

  • Marc

    December 14, 2020 at 12:25 pm

    All I want to see next to DeSantis’s name is – natural causes!

  • Jim Satterfield

    December 14, 2020 at 12:46 pm

    The NBC piece that was linked to by another poster states that some protection is provided by the initial dose but that for full effectiveness you need to get the second dose so it does in fact disagree with the claim of DeSantis and the WSJ editorial writer who is not an immunologist or virologist.

  • Tony Paxton

    December 14, 2020 at 12:55 pm

    DeSantis go do some governing and leave the science and medical dosing to those that understand it. There is no need to prove over and over again how stupid you are.

  • Nydia Rivera

    December 14, 2020 at 1:23 pm

    Not my words – borrowed from a physician.

    A clear, concise and scientific explanation about the COVID vaccine:

    I wanted to provide some info on the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines which are soon to be available. Let me first say that I will not entertain any anti-vax comments based on conspiracies such as “they want to track you”, “there is a microchip”, “It will cause autism”, “Fauci will get rich”, “It will give you Covid” –

    Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are mRNA vaccines. How do these work? mRNA or (messenger RNA) is simply a genetic template that once it enters a cell is capable of being read by the cellular machinery and translated into a small SARS-Cov2 protein called “spike protein”. Spike protein is a viral protein that is primarily used by the virus to gain entry into cells.

    Ok let’s make this clear now, this mRNA vaccine does not make the whole virus. It only makes a small portion of a viral protein called “spike”. So there is NO (ZERO) biological possibility of getting COVID19 from this vaccine. Same goes for the influenza vaccine. In addition, while mRNA is technically genetic material (nucleus acid) it is NOT DNA. DNA and RNA are two different molecules with two different functions in the cell. Think of RNA as just a carbon copy of a piece of DNA used as a template to make proteins so that DNA can remain in the nucleus and keep doing its day job. This mRNA will NOT go into the nucleus, it will NOT change your DNA, and it will NOT integrate into your genome or alter your genetics in any way. Again, it is simply a template for making a small protein of the virus in order to introduce this foreign protein into the body to mount an immune response.

    Ok let’s talk about symptomology. As I mentioned there is 0% chance of getting COVID from both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine. But that does not mean there will not be some symptoms. As with most vaccines, the majority of symptoms will be at the injection site. Anytime there is anything “foreign” injected under the skin there will be some inflammation and soreness. That is natural and expected and will have no lasting effects. Think of it as if you stepped on a rusty nail, it is going to be sore for a while, because the body will inflame that area and fight anything foreign that was on the nail. So far, both vaccines have been through 10s of thousands of test subjects in phase 3 trials. With not one single major adverse event. This is great news for the vaccine as it appears to be quite safe and effective just like the safety profile of all other vaccines.

    Ok let’s talk about the delivery. All vaccines are given with substances that either can enhance their immunogenicity (adjuvants) or can help them get gain entry into cells. In this case, being an mRNA vaccine, naked mRNA cannot readily enter cells but it does need to gain entry into the cells in your arm in order to begin making that foreign spike protein. The delivery vehicle for both of these vaccines is called a lipid nanoparticle or LNP for short. I have worked on these in my career. How do these work? Well consider LNP to be little tiny spheres that surround the mRNA. Since in order to get into a cell, a molecule needs to be hydrophobic (greasy) these LNPs are lipid based (grease) and will slip into the cell easily carrying their payload of mRNA into the cell. Once inside the cells the LNPs break open and “delivers” the mRNA payload. The LNP debris is simply broken down further by the cell and gotten rid of. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are based on this LNP delivery. “What does this mean for safety”? LNPs have been given to hundreds of thousands of subjects thus far and are used as a delivery method in other approved medicines, not just these vaccines. The ONLY thing to say about LNP safety is that LNP can exacerbate the local inflammation, so your arm may be a bit more sore than a flu vaccine. But in most cases there will be little discomfort.

    Finally, I want to talk about systemic symptoms like fever, chills, etc. This COVID19 vaccine is given in two doses. We call this is a “prime/boost” strategy of immunization. During the first injection you will likely experience no “whole body” symptoms other than a sore arm. But during this first injection, your immune cells have been “primed” to respond to any further exposure to the same protein. Therefore, upon your second dose, there will be a greater immune response, as your body has developed “memory” from the first innoculation and can quickly “recognize” this same foreign protein and mount a robust immune response. This second “boost” will in fact “boost” your immunity further and is required to develop that high efficacy (>90%) we have heard about from the clinical trials. But…. this second “boost” may be accompanied by the release of normal immune proteins (called cytokines) into the bloodstream. These cytokines can cause some transient fever, fatigue, and generally “feeling bad” for a day or so. This only means the vaccine is working well and will go away within a day and this “feeling bad” will not happen in every person receiving the vaccine. So while this vaccine will likely not be without “some” discomfort please remember and keep this in perspective. There is much less discomfort from this vaccine than dying on a ventilator from COVID19. So PLEASE get the vaccine. We need enough people getting the vaccine to finally once and for all kick this virus in its little virus butt.

    Finally, if you do not go back for the second boost you will NOT have adequate immunity to COVID19. I repeat, you HAVE to go back for your second dose. I suspect compliance on this will be an issue but the initial “priming” will not protect you adequately from COVID19. Also, both of these vaccines appear to be highly efficacious. Which is great news. Much more effective than influenza. So far the efficacy is in the order of what we see with polio, yellow fever, and measles vaccines. Both Pfizer and Moderna are reporting greater than 90% immunity to infection and more importantly if infection did happen in the small percentage of folks outside that 90% none of those subjects had severe COVID19 that required hospitalization or resulted in mortality.

    If EVERYONE, were to get this vaccine as it is rolled out this nightmare will be OVER. I implore you to please set aside any conspiracies or non-factual things you read on google or through the grapevine and rely on us scientists to give you the facts. I have absolutely zero benefit (financially or otherwise) from asking you to take this vaccine other than to keep my family and yours safe from this deadly virus in 2021.

    In summation:
    1. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are safe
    2. Neither will give you COVID
    3. Neither will “alter” your DNA
    4. There will be local discomfort on the first innoculation and possible some fever and fatigue with the second. Not everyone will experience the fever on the second boost.
    5. It is highly effective in stopping covid and cannot be compared to the highly mutable influenza virus that we have to chase each year with a new vaccine.

    And In the meantime WEAR A MASK!

    Stop making biology political. Biology does not care who you voted for.

  • Janice

    December 14, 2020 at 2:25 pm

    So when did he get his medical degree?

  • tjb

    December 14, 2020 at 2:52 pm

    The answer to where did DeSantis get his medical degree. It is the same school that Pam Bondi got her law degree. Trump University.

  • Anonymouse

    December 14, 2020 at 3:02 pm

    Elections matter

  • Johnny Rokett

    December 14, 2020 at 3:14 pm

    I bet he recommended his parents and in laws only get one dose so someone else can have the other…NOT!! Take it away from those who need it, so the ones who have no regard for the virus can have a dose that they probably don’t want or will take. Great governing DR. TRUMP JR. WANNA BE.

  • Gabby

    December 14, 2020 at 8:42 pm

    I don’t see a Dr in front of your name. How can you possibly make a claim like that. You are totally disturbed and clueless. Drink more koolaid and make more dumb ass comments. Don’t bother wearing your mask anymore either. How did we ever elect such an incompetent fool!!!!

  • Ellen York

    December 14, 2020 at 9:25 pm

    Someone alerted me to this absurd
    notion our Gov.deSatan put forward
    today. I am livid that a vaccine we
    prayed for is here, only to find that
    Ronnie will decide the dosing regimen.
    You are not a doctor or medical
    professional, the citizens of FL will
    Not stand for this lunacy from a Trump
    Enabler. It’s Not your decision to
    override the proper medical dosing
    requirements. You are Toast at the
    next election. We Floridians will
    Make It So.

  • Mr. Ben

    December 15, 2020 at 1:02 am

    It is still important to get the Second Dose, when long-term immunity kicks in ☣️🏭🎇💉“The study was not designed to assess the efficacy of a single-dose regimen. However, in the interval between the first and second doses, the observed vaccine efficacy against Covid-19 was 52%.” (@SajjadFazel, Health Researcher, Calgary U)

    “A total of 43,548 participants underwent randomization, of whom 43,448 received injections: 21,720 with BNT162b2 and 21,728 with placebo. There were 8 cases of Covid-19 with onset at least 7 days after the second dose among participants assigned to receive BNT162b2 and 162 cases among those assigned to placebo; BNT162b2 was 95% effective in preventing Covid-19 (95% credible interval, 90.3 to 97.6). Similar vaccine efficacy (generally 90 to 100%) was observed across subgroups defined by age, sex, race, ethnicity, baseline body-mass index, and the presence of coexisting conditions. Among 10 cases of severe Covid-19 with onset after the first dose, 9 occurred in placebo recipients and 1 in a BNT162b2 recipient. The safety profile of BNT162b2 was characterized by short-term, mild-to-moderate pain at the injection site, fatigue, and headache. The incidence of serious adverse events was low and was similar in the vaccine and placebo groups.”

    It is still important to get the Second Dose ☣️🏭🎇💉“The study was not designed to assess the efficacy of a single-dose regimen. However, in the interval between the first and second doses, the observed vaccine efficacy against Covid-19 was 52%.” (@SajjadFazel, Health Researcher, Calgary U)
    December 10, 2020
    Safety and Efficacy of the BNT162b2 mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine

  • Maggie May

    December 15, 2020 at 4:18 am

    Hey Palmer Tom,

    From the article YOU posted:

    “The new information shows it has benefits even after the first dose, with an effectiveness of more than 50 percent about a week later. While useful, Poland said it will be important to follow through with that second dose to ‘significantly boost’ the immune response.

    “The concern is that after a single dose, people would think ‘I’m home free.’ That would be the wrong message,’ Poland said.”

    This is why typical progressives tend to read past the headlines.

  • 4 Horsemen

    December 15, 2020 at 8:28 am

    Donald Trump III a.k.a. DumbSantis keeps parroting the Buffoon’s wild allegations. Next yp will be the buttkissing session where DumbSantis will congratulate the Buffoon for getting a vaccine out in record time. Like the Buffoon was in the lab managing the entire process while Pence is there to help the Buffoon change HIS depends.

    Florida Republican Pol’s see Florida as a great big cash bag just sitting there waiting to be pilfered.

  • D. Watson

    December 15, 2020 at 8:41 am

    How do we have to allow an unqualified individual the power to direct the application on a critical vaccine, that has been developed under such a immediate need, that is meant to stop this virus spread killing thousands.

    It is totally unacceptable, I believed the CDC would be making the recommendations with regards to the distribution.. I have been confined to my home since March, other than to get food, using all the safety measures that have been advised. I’m turning 78 in Feb. and have COPD and hope to be in the earlier group to get vaccinated after the critical workers etc. If the 2nd shot is delayed will it not make it less effective? He’s a would be trump an now smarter.

  • skip

    December 15, 2020 at 9:33 am

    Ok, so after reading all of these extremely well out comments …. Who the heck voted for this guy?

  • Pablo Zambrano Andrade

    December 15, 2020 at 9:35 am

    Who die and made you a Doctor a researcher a know it all. You should be try for what you stole from Florida’s unemployment for what you have done DeSantis you are a thief a Moron an ignorant human. Your nothing but a primadonna. I hope people wake up quickly and start a former investigation on you little charade you have pull with inocent people and people in general in the state of Florida. Karma is a bitch DumbSantis

  • Cynthia M. Uhrich

    December 15, 2020 at 1:37 pm

    What is wrong with this man?? He is spreading dangerous disinformation. Make it go away.

  • Bob

    December 15, 2020 at 2:27 pm

    This is the same guy that is ok with full indoor restaurants as the virus grows out of control, and is ok with people not wearing masks. I am surprised that he hasn’t tried to “mandate” tourists flocking into the state. He also has zero problem with playing Russian roulette with the lives of teachers and students, wanting to keep schools open as things continue to grow out of control. His actions (or I should say, lack of actions), along with those of politicians around the country, led by the President, are the reason that COVID is out of control worse in the USA than any other country on earth.

  • Lea Leonard

    December 15, 2020 at 2:45 pm

    The Pfizer vacine WAS NOT approved by the FDA for ONE DOSE. BECAUSE, genius, It was not tested as a single does, it was tested with a BOOSTER…. Please let the epidemiologists and viralogists (Medical folks with DEGREES) make the decisions.

  • Sharon Pickell

    December 15, 2020 at 3:01 pm

    McRonald DeathSantis
    is nothing more than a Trump supplicant.. He is afraid Trump might fire him if he shows any signs of intelligence. Remember, Trump will be the King of Idiots when he moves to Mara Lago…

  • Craig Schiller

    December 15, 2020 at 7:29 pm

    Florida does not permit recalls of the Governor. Perhaps we could could have him arrested for practicing medicine without a license.

  • Robbie

    December 15, 2020 at 7:38 pm

    Every one who wrote a comment agree. Our stupid governor definitely is stupid. Remember that at his next election. Stupidly would rule and we would all be dead!,

  • linda lamber

    December 16, 2020 at 6:41 pm

    People need to stand up and sign lists to impeach this stupid man. His team has screwed up doses and now this State Florida senior will luck out to get our dose. We never voted for this Trump cult lover or for Trump. I heard they were grooming him for President.

  • Toni White

    December 21, 2020 at 11:18 am

    He “THINKS????” How about thought you farted buy you s**t, better check your pants!!!!

    Who voted for this joke?

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Andrew Wilson, Wes Wolfe, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn