TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — If you’re under 60 and living in Florida, you might be wondering when it’ll be your turn to get the COVID-19 vaccine. 8 On Your Side found out it partly depends on what happened on Monday.
When the coronavirus vaccine first became available to Florida’s seniors, websites crashed and phone lines jammed as those who were eligible tried to book appointments.
Months later, the eligibility age has now dropped to 60, and David Medina is opting out of booking an appointment. Instead, the 62 year-old will walk up to the FEMA-supported site in Tampa.
“It was just so frustrating so I said, ‘no we’re not going to do that,'” said Mr. Medina.
Investigator Mahsa Saeidi asked him how his life is going to change once he gets the shot.
“Well, I just found out my wife got stage 2 cancer so this alleviates a lot,” said Mr. Medina. “It brings a lot of ease to someone’s mind.”
The vaccine is injecting new hope into his life and the lives of at least 1.5 million others now able to sign up. 8 On Your Side checked and confirmed Floridians age 60 to 64 can now register online at CVS, Publix, Walmart and MyVaccine.FL.Gov
Thus far, 8 On Your Side hasn’t seen any major problems.
“The infrastructure that’s in place now is fantastic,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said during a news conference in Sebastian on Friday.
Gov. DeSantis said the announcement to drop the vaccine age to 55 could come this week. By next month, Florida could open vaccinations to all.
But don’t expect to register on one centralized site.
“Ours is a more decentralized approach befitting a very big state,” said Gov. DeSantis. “We have the retail pharmacies which are really expanded but that is not [a] sign up on a government list.”
Mr. Medina and his wife will both soon be fully vaccinated, able to stay positive and focus on the fight ahead.
“I’ve been married to her for 30 years, so I’m blessed,” said Mr. Medina.
Florida is getting hundreds of thousands of vaccine doses each week. The infrastructure in place seems to be working and, for now, we’re on track to meet Gov. DeSantis’ goals.