For many Florida residents, trying to navigate the state's COVID-19 vaccine rollout has basically been another full-time job. Are non-Florida residents eligible? Maybe! Can teachers under 50 get the shot? Depends! The patchwork of rules and regulations has left even the most plugged-in news junkies feeling confused and a little despondent.
Now, one of Miami's major vaccination sites is throwing another curveball. This afternoon, Jackson Memorial Hospital announced it would open its vaccine appointments to anyone 16 years and older with a high-risk medical condition. Until now, most sites have agreed to vaccinate medically vulnerable Floridians over the age of 50.
The eligibility change means an entirely new age bracket of medically at-risk people will now be able to book an appointment. But that's not the only thing that's different about Jackson's vaccine plan. According to a press release from the hospital system, patients will be asked to attest that they have a high-risk condition, but they will not be asked to provide documentation. (Critics have pointed out that many medically vulnerable people live without health insurance or do not have a primary-care physician, making the state's doctor-note requirement seem onerous.)
Jackson says appointments will become available tonight via its online portal. Those interested in booking a slot should continue checking the hospital's Twitter and Instagram accounts to be notified when the appointments will go live. (For some reason, Jackson has made it a practice not to advertise far in advance when the appointments will be up for grabs, opting instead to put out a social-media blast shortly beforehand.)
With the new eligibility requirements, Jackson is now vaccinating the following groups of people:
- Anyone over the age of 65
- School employees, sworn law-enforcement personnel, and firefighters older than 50
- Adults aged 18 and older who attest that a physician has recommended they receive the vaccine because of a high-risk medical condition (no documentation needed)
- Teens aged 16 or 17 who, alongside a parent or legal guardian, attest that a physician has recommended they receive the vaccine because of a high-risk medical condition (no documentation needed)
Appointments can be made online at JacksonHealth.org.
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