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Higher Ed Faculty Excluded from Florida’s COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Expansion

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s executive order, which took effect on Tuesday,  has excluded higher ed faculty, The Independent Florida Alligator reported.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisFlorida Gov. Ron DeSantis

The order expanded COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to some essential workers, such as law enforcement, firefighters and K-12 employees over age 50.

“The United Faculty of Florida (UFF) and the 22,000 people we represent congratulate the public servants who are now eligible for the vaccines and celebrate their chance at hope,” read a statement from UFF, University of Florida’s faculty union. “Nonetheless, we are appalled by the governor’s decision to exclude college and university workers from this mandate.”

UF Health has offered vaccinations to staff members over age 65 since January.

U.S. counties where many college students attend in-person classes faced a 56% rise in COVID-19 cases in August, according to the CDC. And most COVID-19-related deaths on campuses were faculty, according to another study.

UFF president Paul Ortiz has asked UF President Kent Fuchs to urge DeSantis to include higher ed in Florida’s vaccine program.

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