TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) — The tacit message Florida is sending to the nation is: “Come on down to the Sunshine State for a COVID-19 vaccination vacation, but hang around for a while.”
As Gov. Ron DeSantis said, people setting up appointments for COVID-19 shots shouldn’t just fly in and out of the state and cut in line ahead of residents and snowbirds who spend months in the Sunshine State.
“We are discouraging people to come to Florida, just to get a vaccine,” DeSantis told reporters in Miami on Monday. “I think if they called Jackson (Memorial Hospital) and said, ‘Hey, I’m in New York, I can’t get vaccinated, can I come down,’ we would say, ‘don’t do that.’ ”
But the governor also said he’s fine with people who have a seasonal residence in Florida getting in line for vaccinations, since “they’re not just kind of flying by night for a week or two.”
“I don’t think we want to get in a situation where we’re trying to say, ‘Oh, no, you go back to Rhode Island, or you go back to Minnesota or wherever,’ ” DeSantis said.
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Under DeSantis’ directions, people age 65 and older, along with frontline health-care workers and first responders, are eligible to receive the vaccination, which is largely being distributed by hospitals and county health departments.
On Monday, the New York Post reported that real estate moguls Bill and David S. Mack arranged for their “wealthy friends from Manhattan and the ritzy Palm Beach Country Club to get the COVID-19 vaccine at a Florida retirement home.”
Asked about the Post report while in Pensacola on Wednesday, DeSantis noted that vaccinations are being administered in nursing homes in areas including Miami-Dade County, which have “the capacity” to provide the shots.
“But my understanding is they’re administering that to their, you know, to their residents, which is very appropriate for them to do,” he added.
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