Rolling up sleeves after rocky vaccine rollout
Scott Rivkees get a pass on testifying.

'There’s no rhyme or reason who’s getting it, that’s the frustration.'

The state’s rocky rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations came under scrutiny this week, as Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees made the rounds of House and Senate committees.

Sen. Aaron Bean, a Fernandina Beach Republican, chided Rivkees, saying Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration hasn’t been open with the public about the effort to get shots in arms.

During a Senate Health Policy Committee meeting Wednesday, Bean said there is statewide frustration over the vaccine rollout and that state health officials need to provide the public with a “clear direction” about the state’s plans.

“If there is an orderly process that is clear and communicated well, most people are patient — they will wait their turn and know that new supplies are coming. And I can wait my turn. But when there’s no information, and there’s no rhyme or reason who’s getting it, that’s the frustration,” said Bean, who is one of Senate President Wilton Simpson’s top lieutenants and chairs a panel in charge of the health-care budget.

Bean said thousands of people signed up through a Nassau County website to get vaccinated but there was no supply.

More than 4.4 million people age 65 and older qualify for vaccinations under a Dec. 23 executive order issued by DeSantis. But the state has received far fewer doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines than would be needed to vaccinate those seniors — or the broader population. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses to be effective.

Given the math, Rivkees told members of the Senate Health Policy Committee that “it is going to take a while” to get all those who qualify vaccinated. He said the message that needs to be delivered is patience.

“How you convey patience during a pandemic is a very difficult conversation to have. Frankly, it’s heartbreaking,” said Rivkees, who doubles as secretary of the Department of Health.


Republished with permission of The News Service of Florida.

Wire Services


  • Pat Weinberg

    January 16, 2021 at 7:56 pm

    Rollout was frustrating but fair. Everyone eligible could apply for an appt but there were limited appts due to limited vaccine. Gov DeSantis has done a better job than most governors in securing vaccine and communicating to public. I am 75 and followed procedures for my county. It’s hard to get a vaccine appt but fair. Senator Bean is wrong. Maybe he should work to get more vaccine for his constituents in Nassau county and not just complain. What has Senator Bean done……complain! People need encouragement to be patient. We are so lucky our governor has made the priority group 65 +.

  • Sonja Fitch

    January 17, 2021 at 6:59 am

    Omg another real Republican, Aaron Bean! Maybe there is hope for real Republican leadership in Florida! Duffus Desantis is incompetent and unwilling to accept truth and reality! Still!!! Vote Florida Democrat Blue in 2022!

  • Paul

    January 19, 2021 at 12:20 pm

    Yes it is “heartbreaking” we do not have a more competent Surgeon General and Governor who know how to communicate, plan and execute in a real crises!

Comments are closed.


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