Orange County will go ahead with vaccinations of people 40 and over, in spite of new rules from the state of Florida

click to enlarge A FEMA worker prepares a COVID-19 vaccination syringe. - Photo courtesy FEMA/Facebook
Photo courtesy FEMA/Facebook
A FEMA worker prepares a COVID-19 vaccination syringe.

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday issues an executive order explicitly setting the lower age limit of the Florida's COVID-19 vaccination guidelines at 50 . If you wanted to read the move as a swipe at Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, who lowered his own county's vaccination age limit to 40 the day before, a story was there.

But politics watchers didn't need to bust out the tea leaves, as DeSantis made his feelings on Demings' decision abundantly clear before his press conference ended.

“It’s not his decision to make,” DeSantis said when asked about Demings' plan. “There’s a structure in the state of Florida on how these decisions are made.”

In spite of this, Orange County plans to go ahead with vaccinations of anyone over the age of 40. In a letter to the state director of emergency management sent prior to DeSantis' announcement, Demings laid out his progress so far and his reasoning for going beyond the state guidelines.

"Orange County has completed 67% of the 65 and older population and 57% of the 60 and older population," he wrote. "In addition, Orange County has a larger amount of the younger population compared to many other counties."

Demings stuck to his plan in a statement shared with Orlando Weekly after DeSantis' news conference.

"I was elected to work on the behalf of the citizens of Orange County and I take that responsibility seriously," he told us. "In my judgement, due to the depressed demand at the Convention Center, lowering the age was the right thing to do."

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