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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Qualifying for a COVID vaccine as "extremely vulnerable" under Florida's new guidelines is entirely up to doctors' discretion, Gov. Ron DeSantis said at a press conference Wednesday.

Why it matters: Being "extremely vulnerable" is the only way Floridians under 65 who are not frontline workers or firefighters, police and teachers 50 and up can get the vaccine so far.

  • "I don’t think you’re going to see any funny business. I think it’s about trusting them," the governor said.
  • The state gave no specifics for consideration when DeSantis signed his executive order earlier this week allowing the category to be vaccinated.

This story first appeared in the Axios Tampa Bay newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.

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Go deeper

Vaccine site opens at Tampa Greyhound Track

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

A FEMA-coordinated mass COVID-19 community vaccination site opens Wednesday morning at the Tampa Greyhound Track in Sulphur Springs and will operate from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week.

The state of play: The site will accept walk-ups only and will first vaccinate law enforcement officers, firefighters and school employees ages 50 and older, plus residents 65 and older and those with medical conditions that make them "extremely vulnerable."

"Neanderthal thinking": Biden slams states lifting mask mandates

States that are relaxing coronavirus restrictions are making "a big mistake," President Biden told reporters on Wednesday, adding: "The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking."

Driving the news: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said Wednesday he will end all coronavirus restrictions via executive order, although some businesses are continuing to ask patrons to wear face masks. Mississippi is lifting its mask mandate for all counties Wednesday, per Gov. Tate Reeves (R).

The U.S. coronavirus vaccines aren't all the same

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The U.S. now has three COVID-19 vaccines, and public health officials are quick — and careful — to say there’s no bad option. But their effectiveness, manufacturing and distribution vary.

Why it matters: Any of the authorized vaccines are much better than no vaccine, especially for people at high risk of severe coronavirus infections. But their differences may fuel perceptions of inequity, and raise legitimate questions about the best way to use each one.