Florida seniors camp for hours in front of vaccination centers

Seniors in Florida waited for hours to get one of the rare corona vaccinations. In the USA, the distribution of vaccinations to the population is not clearly regulated.

In Florida there was a big crowd in front of the vaccination centers. Especially the elderly waited in a long queue for hours to get the coveted remedy. The corona vaccinations should be given there according to the “first come, first served” principle. This led to chaos on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, as reported by several media.

In Lee County, southwest Florida, seniors over 65 and health care workers were asked to come to one of the seven vaccination centers without an appointment on Wednesday morning. That reported CNN. However, each of these centers received only 300 doses of vaccine. As a result, long queues formed, many brought camping chairs with them and spent the night on site.

Waited eight hours for vaccination

One of those affected told the broadcaster that he had been waiting since 1.30 a.m. After eight or nine hours he could be vaccinated. “While I’m grateful that I got the vaccination, I think there has to be a better way to distribute it all. The people who really need it, old people with disabilities, can’t take it, so there has to be one better way to organize it, “he explained.

A journalist from ABC television reported on Twitter from a friend of her family. She arrived at the vaccination center at 4:30 a.m. Many would not have worn masks there. She feared that she would be infected with the corona virus from those waiting and therefore left after a few hours.

She also writes that, in view of the waiting time, the authorities advised the elderly to bring warm clothing, blankets, water and their medication with them.

Chaos between the US government, states and counties

The government under Donald Trump does not specify a uniform procedure for distributing the corona vaccine, it is left to the states. Only the CDC health authority recommends vaccinating people from systemically important professions first. However, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis passed the organization on to the county’s health authorities. Many chose to schedule vaccination appointments, but others, like Lee County, did not. Even when appointments were made, there were sometimes long queues in front of the vaccination centers.

Lauderhill in Florida: Vaccination appointments were made here – but it was jammed in front of the drive-ins. (Source: Joe Cavaretta / imago images)

Contrary to the recommendation, DeSantis focused on the elderly. He criticized the CDC: “If you are a 22-year-old who works in the supermarket, you would be preferred to a 74-year-old. I don’t think that’s the direction we want to go.” According to CNN, DeSantis had repeatedly downplayed the risk of Covid-19 for younger people in the past.


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