Hillsborough County health officials discourage people from flying to Florida to get COVID-19 vaccine

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Controversial CNBC host Jim Cramer this week advised viewers to fly to Florida and take advantage of there being no residency requirement to get vaccinated for the coronavirus.

“I’m going to go to Florida,” Cramer said. “I’m lucky, I have enough money to go to Florida.”

But getting the vaccine here in the Sunshine State isn’t quite that simple.

The Florida Department of Health says there are 206,000 people in Hillsborough County who are over the age of 65. So far, the county only has 9,000 doses of the vaccine to give out.

“It’s going to take several months to get everyone vaccinated who wants to be vaccinated,” health department spokesman Kevin Watler said.

Many in Hillsborough County, as well as residents in other Tampa Bay area counties, have complained it’s very difficult to get a vaccine appointment.

Barbara Mamouzelos was one of the lucky ones who were able to get an appointment to be vaccinated Friday.

“My daughter-in-law and I were both on the phone from 8 o’clock on,” Mamouzelos said.

But she was not happy when she heard people from as far away as Canada are flying to Florida to get the vaccine.

“I don’t think that’s fair. I mean Canada, I’m sure, is also going to get the vaccine,” she said. “They need to [wait their] turn like anyone else.”

The Florida Department of Health says more vaccine is on the way, but flying to Florida to get it is not a good idea.

“We know that you want the vaccine,” Watler said. “We want to give you the vaccine but we just don’t have enough vaccine right now.”

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