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Palm Beach County Commissioner Is "Disgusted" By Governor's Vaccine Plan

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Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay represents district 6 in Palm Beach County.

Health officials in Palm Beach County say they are extremely low on COVID-19 vaccines despite having the infrastructure for mass distribution.

Publix pharmacies are receiving the majority of the vaccine doses as part of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ state-wide vaccination program.

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Speaking at a commission meeting Tuesday, Palm Beach County commissioner Melissa McKinlay said Publix should not take the lead in the distribution of the vaccine.

"I'm absolutely disgusted that the governor of this state has 100 percent taken the ability to vaccinate our residents in Palm Beach County out of the hands of our public health officials and our medical officials. And given that authority to a corporate entity," McKinlay said.

Critics say focusing on Publix limits possibilities in rural communities. DeSantis and his administration have said Publix was chosen in an effort to vaccinate seniors across the state more quickly.

McKinlay says Gov. DeSantis should be leading the efforts to reach out to the new Biden Administration to ensure a better vaccination rollout to seniors in the county and state.

"The governor is complaining about the White House and the supply, "McKinlay said. "I’m sorry but President Biden has been in office for six days. Where the hell has the governor been since the vaccines has been available more than six weeks ago."

The county’s health director, Dr. Alina Alonso, said they will receive the remaining first doses of the vaccines through Feb. 5.

Wilkine Brutus is a reporter and producer for WLRN and a guest faculty member at the Poynter Institute. The South Florida native produces stories on topics surrounding local news, culture, art, politics and current affairs.