Now that every Florida adult is eligible for COVID-19 vaccines, who is getting them?

Reporter: Sydney Persing Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
vaccine 5
Credit: WINK News

As of Monday, every adult in Florida is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. With the eligibility pool itself expanding, will demand be expanding as well?

Based on the calls, emails, and messages on social media that WINK News is still receiving, there are still seniors who want to get the vaccine.

More than 75% of Floridians aged 65 and older have already received at least one shot, compared to just 22% of those aged 16-64.

Clearly, there are still many people who need vaccines, but here are many appointments available.

An afternoon out on the town was once unthinkable during the pandemic but now it is possible. Jeff and Sue Bibby got their first doses of the vaccine in March.

“It seemed that the process had changed; we expected a longer wait than what we had. It went very smoothly,” said Sue.

They say their experience was much smoother than the beginning of the COVID-19 vaccination rollout.

Those who were signing up for vaccine appointment times in December and January experienced liens at walk-up sites stretching for miles, and online appointments were disappearing in minutes.

Dr. Rebekah Bernard is a primary care physician in Fort Myers. “It’s so much better now, [than] in the beginning,” Dr. Bernard said.

She says that even though the vaccine eligibility pool has expanded and is so large now, her patients are finding appointments so more easily. “It’s multifactorial,” she said.

Dr. Bernard points to a massive increase in vaccine supply. Nationwide, a record 4 million people got vaccinated on Saturday alone.

There are also those who are eligible but do not want a shot or two.

Daniel Endrizal lives in Lee County. “I’m not doing the shots; it’s too early,” Endrizal said.

“And we’re seeing a lot more providers offering the vaccine in the beginning. It was just the health department, and they were stretched really thin,” said Dr. Bernard.

Jeff got his vaccine through the state pre-registration site, but his wife got hers through her physician’s group.

“It went very smoothly. I signed up got an appointment maybe two weeks later. It went very smoothly,” Jeff said.

Dr. Bernard stressed that this is not easy for everyone, as many still know.

We have created a poll for you to fill out about your triumphs or struggles with the vaccine. And if you’re the parent of a 16 or 17-year-old, are you finding appointment availability for your teen?

And if you’re looking for vaccine appointments near you, you can check this website.

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