Martin Co. skipped in latest round of vaccine distributions

Martin Co. skipped in latest round of vaccine distributions

About 250,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were distributed to Florida counties statewide this week.

However, WFLX learned that Martin County was one of the very few counties to be overlooked this week to receive more doses.

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The vaccines remain in extremely high demand, with appointments booking up completely within minutes, including in Martin County.

"I know it's hard right now. Everybody wants to get this as fast as possible, but I will tell you we’re doing everything we can," said state Rep. Toby Overdorf, R-Palm City.

That is why he and some Martin County leaders were disappointed to learn Martin County was not on the state's list to receive any new vaccines this week.

"The county administrator reached out to me over the weekend and let me know Martin County was going to have a zero allocation for additional vaccines in the coming week, and they were concerned," Overdorf said.

Overdorf said the first round of distribution focused on the population size of a county. The second on how efficiently counties were distributing the vaccine.

Of the 250,000 doses allocated for distribution statewide, 50,000 went to those in assisted living facilities, and 30,000 went to the new Publix program. That left the state with 170,000 to distribute to county health departments and their partners.

State Rep. Toby Overdorf, R-Palm City, urges the public to continue to adhere to social distancing and cleanliness guidelines.
State Rep. Toby Overdorf, R-Palm City, urges the public to continue to adhere to social distancing and cleanliness guidelines.

In a news conference in Indian River County last week, Gov. Ron DeSantis stated that he wanted the vaccines to go to counties that were proving to distribute the vaccine effectively.

"Martin County did a great job," Overdorf said. "They were able to get vaccines out very quickly. Actually, they are currently or were currently out of their entire supply."

Overdorf contacted the Department of Emergency Management and worked to secure at least a small number of new doses, wanting Martin County to keep up its momentum in distributing the vaccines.

"We were able to secure an additional, at least 500, this time around," he said. "We were assured we'd get more doses as this proceeds forward, and hopefully next week, we will get even more doses as the federal government ramps up their distribution."

The Florida Department of Health in Martin County, which was also surprised to be skipped for this round of distribution, said in a statement:

Vaccine supplies are limited across the state, so the weekly allotments for each county is not known. Ultimately, we are pleased to be receiving vaccine this week and are prepared to quickly distribute it, and are grateful for the support of our lawmakers and community partners.

WPTV has contacted the governor's office for more information about why Martin County was excluded but has not yet received a response.

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