Florida Governor Ron DeSantis opposes mandatory vaccination of healthcare workers


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  • Photo courtesy of Governor Ron DeSantis / Twitter

Gov. Ron DeSantis didn’t want Florida businesses to require customers to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination to be served or to enter establishments, so he lobbied lawmakers this spring to pass a law banning them. “Vaccine passports”.

Now the governor says he is also not supporting hospitals requiring their staff to get vaccinated.

DeSantis did not say Thursday whether he would ban hospitals from requiring staff to be vaccinated, but made it clear he was not a fan of the idea.

“It’s not something that I support,” DeSantis said when asked about the matter at a press conference at Tampa General Hospital.

As the number of COVID-19 infections in the state and inpatient admissions skyrocket, some hospitals are requiring staff members to be vaccinated.

Jackson Health chief executive Carlos Migoya announced at a press conference Thursday that the Miami hospital would require staff to be vaccinated or restricted, according to media reports. Migoya said staff who do not have at least one dose of the vaccine by August 23 will need to wear N95 masks at all times. Migoya also said the hospital will pay one-time bonuses of $ 150 to fully vaccinated workers by September 30.

Jackson Health’s announcement followed similar vaccination requirements from the Mayo Clinic Jacksonville, Baptist Health Jacksonville and Ascension St. Vincent’s.

In addition, the federal Department of Veterans Affairs requires that most of its medical personnel be vaccinated.

DeSantis said frontline health workers in Florida hospitals – as well as nursing homes – were among the first people to have access to vaccines after the federal government cleared the emergency use of Pfizer vaccines. and Moderna in December.

When she was begged by her family to get the vaccine, this nursing home worker said “No lol”

"no LOL"

When she was begged by her family to get the vaccine, this nursing home worker said “No lol”

By Jenny Deam, Ryan Gabrielson and Bianca Fortis, ProPublica


While DeSantis said between 80 and 90 percent of doctors have been vaccinated, he said adoption among nurses was not as large.

Those comments were underscored by an AARP report last month that showed only 42% of nursing home workers in Florida were vaccinated. This was the second-lowest vaccination rate in the country in a four-week review period and was significantly lower than the 56 percent who were vaccinated nationally.

Less than half of Florida nursing home workers vaccinated against COVID-19

Less than half of Florida nursing home workers vaccinated against COVID-19

By Christine Sexton, NSF


“How it’s implemented,” DeSantis said of immunization mandates, “and how people react to that, there will definitely be a reaction to that.”

DeSantis has emerged in Tampa General as Florida’s COVID-19 death toll rises, infections spread and hospitalizations skyrocket due to the highly transmissible delta variant of the coronavirus.

Florida reported an additional 20,133 new COVID-19 infections on Wednesday, making the state responsible for about 22% of the new cases reported nationwide for the day, according to data released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The state also reported 84 deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday, accounting for nearly 17% of deaths nationwide that day.

Meanwhile, the number of people in Florida hospitals with COVID-19 has reached 12,888, according to data on file with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

COVID-19 patients occupy 22% of hospital beds in the state, the highest percentage in the country, according to data. Florida is also lagging behind in vaccination rates, a factor that contributed to the spike.

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