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Can Palm Beach County lower the Covid-19 vaccine age to 40 and older?

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Who will be the first to get COVID-19 vaccines? AP Illustration/Peter Hamlin

Palm Beach County leaders are considering lowering the Covid-19 vaccine age to 40 and older, however, no decisions have been made as of yet.

Can Palm Beach County leaders take it upon themselves to defy Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and lower the age of eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine to 40 and older, just like Miami-Dade and Orange counties have?

Not likely, top officials said on Tuesday.

In recent days, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings have personally dropped the age of eligible residents, despite an executive order from DeSantis that says only Floridians who are 50 and older can get the vaccine.

The Palm Beach County leaders are discussing the best options and if it’s even possible to lower the age for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Would this be a good thing for Palm Beach County?

“There’s a structure in the state of Florida in terms of how these decisions are made,” DeSantis said.

So this could be potentially a roadblock for Palm Beach County residents 40 and older.

Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner told county commissioners on Tuesday that Miami-Dade and Orange counties are likely getting around the governor’s order because they’re receiving vaccine doses from the federal government; whereas Palm Beach County is only receiving vaccine from the state supply.

“There’s a little bit more flexibility in those very urban areas,” Kerner said. “I don’t think these other counties are violating that order in that they’re probably using federal vaccines that have a little bit more durability or broader boundaries of how they can use them.”

Several commissioners expressed their desire to ask DeSantis if Palm Beach County can lower the age of eligibility on its own.

“If [DeSantis] is not going to have a problem with Orlando and Miami going to 40 and over, I don’t see why we can’t ask to have the same thing,” Vice Mayor Robert Weinroth told Palm Beach County health director Dr. Alina Alonso.

DeSantis says he’ll lower the age for entire state by May 1, 2021.

Fore more information on vaccinations in Palm Beach County click here.