Teacher in her classroom. Photo by Dave Einsel/Getty Images

Four new Florida mass-vaccination sites will be opening within the next two weeks, in Orlando, Miami, Jacksonville and Tampa

By Danielle J. Brown, Florida Phoenix

Governor Ron DeSantis on Tuesday said he wants to allow teachers and sworn law enforcement officers to be vaccinated soon as part of federally-supported COVID vaccination sites in major urban areas.

“We’ll start probably 50 and up for the police and classroom teachers,” DeSantis at a news conference in Miami-Dade County.

The effort comes as DeSantis pursues an expansion beyond the 65 and older group that has been a top priority for seniors. (Some educators are 65 and older and can already get the shots.)

However, many teachers have been begging to get the shots while teaching through the ongoing COVID pandemic.

The statewide Florida Education Association has been advocating for vaccines for teachers for some time now.

At least 30 states as well as Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico have allowed some or all teachers to get vaccinated, according to Education Week, but not Florida.

The federally-supported program for vaccinations that would involve teachers and law enforcement would be on sites in four large population counties: Duval, Hillsborough, Orange, and Miami-Dade.

The Biden administration recently sought to increase doses going to states, as well as set up mass-vaccination centers across the country.

Five new sites will be opening within the next two weeks — one in Pennsylvania, at the Philadelphia Convention Center, and four across Florida, in Orlando, Miami, Jacksonville and Tampa.

Those appear to be the sites mentioned by DeSantis on Tuesday.

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