Confusion grows as Florida adds more COVID-19 vaccination sites

Hillsborough County

(WFLA) — Nearly two months into Florida’s vaccine rollout, thousands of frustrated seniors are still trying to get appointments.

With the announcement of state-run sites, many thought the process would become easier and more streamlined, however, some seniors are saying the sign-up process has become more confusing.

“The vaccine process is going slow,” said Hillsborough County senior Angelia Valdez, who has tried since the rollout started to get an appointment.

“I’m registered everywhere. I’ve called everywhere,” said Valdez.

She tells 8 On Your Side she has signed up with the state and has called local churches, hospitals, her doctor, and pharmacies like Publix and Walmart.

So far, she’s been left more confused and frustrated about where to get an appointment.

“I think I’m going to be 67 before I get the vaccine,” she said.

“We share their frustration, though I think we have to acknowledge there are many steps upstream from someone’s arm,” said Dr. Bob Keenan, the chief medical officer with Moffitt Cancer Center.

Keenan believes Florida’s supply will improve within the next month as the federal government takes more steps to help manufacturers speed up production.

He told 8 On Your Side getting people vaccinated quickly is crucial.

“We need to do whatever we can to make [COVID-19] disappear to the extent that we can. Vaccination is critical to that effort,” he said.

For seniors like Valdez, getting a vaccine would be a glimmer of hope in the pandemic.

“Right now a lot of us are living lonely lives because we’re afraid to connect and do the things we used to do,” she said.

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