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Florida ‘vaccine tourism’ sparks outrage – Latest News, Breaking News, Top News Headlines

The free COVID-19 vaccination campaign for those over 65 is attracting tourists to Florida from other areas of the country, Canada and Latin America, something that has caused outrage in many Floridians, who have already asked to end this “tourism of vaccines ”.

Several messages published on a social network by an Argentine television presenter who told live about her mother’s vaccination in Miami triggered alarms that have not stopped ringing afterwards, as other similar cases have been known.

Miami Mayor Francis Suárez, in a television statement, said it is “disgusting” that this happens and promised to investigate the matter.

The media also collect statements from ordinary people who have reacted with indignation and asked for priority for residents in a state where the authorities never tire of repeating that the demand for vaccines is greater than the availability and they ask people for patience.

Gonzalo Martínez, 76, who has a pacemaker, complained in a statement to Univision that “it is quite serious that they are vaccinating tourists while American citizens cannot get vaccinated.”

A Mexican tourist, Miguel Bergencal, who spoke from the car where he was waiting for his turn to get vaccinated, said he came to Florida for that reason, because “in Mexico the situation is quite complex.”

A STATE WITH CASES AND DEATHS ON THE RISE

The current numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths in Florida are the highest since last March. On Thursday and Friday, new daily cases exceeded 19,000.

The Florida state government, which has never made the use of masks mandatory since the beginning of the pandemic, is betting entirely on the vaccine and not on other measures to lower the rise in the incidence of the disease.

The vaccination plan, started in mid-December, is for now focused on front-line medical personnel, residents of geriatric centers and those who care for them, and those over 65, who are having to queue for hours in vaccination centers and struggling with computer systems to get appointments often crashed

Not only the Argentine presenter Yanina Torres made public her joy at having her mother, over 65 years old, vaccinated in a stadium on the outskirts of Miami where a vaccine administration center has been operating since this week.

Former Time Warner president and CEO Richard Parsons told CNBC that he traveled from New York to Florida to get vaccinated and praised this southern state’s plan to immunize those over 65.

“I don’t know how Florida is ahead of everyone. You go online, you make an appointment and you get the appointment, ”said Parsons, who is 72.

INVESTIGATIONS IN PROGRESS

The digital newspaper MyPalmBeachPost this Saturday reproduced some of the reactions that the comment of the former Time Warner president produced among South Florida residents.

76-year-old Carol DeLaster complained that “people here can’t get the vaccine and (Parsons) makes it look like this is a piece of cake (easy and nice).”

“It’s crazy,” DeLaster added, but the truth is that neither Parsons nor Torres’s mother did anything illegal to get vaccinated in Florida, where only candidates to receive the vaccine are asked to prove that they are 65 years old through a document. identity with photograph.

This week it also became known that there is an investigation open to a nursing home in Palm Beach County (southeast Florida) where not only employees and residents, but more than 80 donors of the institution and members, allegedly received the COVID-19 vaccine. from a nearby country club.

In addition, a Miami-Dade County hospital, Baptist Health South, learned that it vaccinated people who were neither health personnel nor patients but people who “supported” the institution.

According to the Miami Herald, other South Florida hospitals have done the same with their donors.

Florida Republican Senator Rick Scott wrote on Twitter that it is “immoral” for a nursing home to administer vaccines to those who do not work or reside there.

Asked by the media as to whether Florida is currently a mecca for “vaccine tourism,” Governor Ron DeSantis indicated that it is difficult to prevent those who do not permanently reside here from getting vaccinated, given the number of people from other areas of the country and from other nations that stay in the state or have vacation homes.

However, he said, “we are discouraging people from coming to Florida just to get the vaccine.”

According to DeSantis, another 250,000 doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines that his administration has requested from the federal government will arrive in Florida next week.

4.5 million people 65 and older live in Florida. To date, 384,223 people have received the vaccine in this state, according to official figures.

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