White House says monitoring COVID-19 vaccine distribution in Florida

White House says monitoring COVID-19 vaccine distribution in Florida

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris tours coronavirus vaccination site in Jacksonville, F
US Vice President Kamala Harris greets US Navy personnel preparing syringes with the Pfizer coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine during a tour of a FEMA vaccination site in Jacksonville, Florida on Mar 22, 2021. (Photo: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

WASHINGTON: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Monday (Apr 5) the administration will continue to ensure coronavirus vaccine is equitably distributed in Florida amid media reports of improper distribution in the state.

Psaki said the White House has been monitoring the situation and it has found 17 per cent of Florida's population is African-American, but less than 7 per cent of vaccinations have gone to African-Americans. 

"That's one of the reasons that we opened four FEMA sites, in Miami, Tampa, Jacksonville and Orlando and these sites disproportionately serve communities of colour," Psaki added. 

The administration will not "hurt the people of Florida, just because of the steps or actions of leadership" and will take steps to ensure the vaccine is equitably distributed, she said.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican, has been accused of funnelling coronavirus vaccines to rich communities and privatised the vaccine rollout to benefit campaign donors while many minorities in the state have struggled to obtain access to the shot. DeSantis has called those allegations "wrong".

President Joe Biden has told US states to make all US adults eligible for a coronavirus vaccine by May 1.

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Source: Reuters/ec