Florida expands role of religious centers in COVID-19 fight

Florida is trying to up its vaccine throughout the state.

Florida is opening seven vaccination sites in partnership with houses of worship across the state.

Last week, Florida began offering shots at a community center and a church in the Pensacola area as part of an effort to bring the vaccine to places people trust. Sunday’s announcement from Gov. Ron DeSantis in Lynn Haven is the next phase of that effort.

Sites in Lynn Haven, as well as Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Jacksonville, St. Lucie, Tallahassee and Tampa will provide 500 shots per day in partnership with 50 houses of worship. Many sites serve predominantly African American churches.

“We really believe making sure these vaccines are getting into all segments of communities are important and we think working with our houses of worship are one way that we can do that,” DeSantis said.

Florida is currently vaccinating up to 60,000 per day, the Governor said, but there is capacity to do more. On Thursday, he said he asked the federal government to double its shipment of doses to the state for the week.

“We have (the capacity) to do much more and we’re trying to get more vaccine,” DeSantis said Sunday.

Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, a Panama City native, was on hand in neighboring Lynn Haven to kick off testing there.

The Governor’s critics have pushed back against his COVID-19 response, from up his choice not to impose mask mandates or to lock down the state to the vaccine rollout. But Patronis has consistently stood behind him.

“Everybody feels like there’s a better way to do this. But all I know is every single day, to the tune of over 900 people a day, (people) are moving to the state of Florida because of the leadership you’ve shown and what we see that has taken place in Florida and not in the New Yorks or the Illinois or the Chicagos or the Californias.”

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


  • William Corless

    January 10, 2021 at 3:22 pm

    I am a 75 yo Vet with lung disease. But you’re giving my vaccine to a church.? When does the VA get
    the same treatment?

  • Pam

    January 10, 2021 at 8:57 pm

    DeSantis your poor excuse to give shots to foreigners because we are a transit state.Thats a crock.you are worthless. Pinellas county tax payers are no getting vaccinated because of your inept roll out,phone and internet crash which we saw coming after your unemployment rollout.You are creating anxiety among retirees who are not snowbirds but lifelong residents.You condone the charter planes coming from alover Canada,you were on front page of there news.No other states are letting no residents get vaccinated,and on top of that you are letting super bowl go on with Tampabay and Florida’s high COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths in Pinellas and Hillsboro counties.You are creating superspreader events for the wealth of a few,not the average taxpayers of Florida.People are saying they wish you could be impeached for incompetence.

  • John Bontly

    January 11, 2021 at 9:35 am

    Am I missing something? Lee county has Publix and lots of churches are any going to give vaccines? Lee never seems included in Governor’s visits. Wise me up.

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, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

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