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Florida governor Ron DeSantis calls for individuals ‘should a minimum of have part-time residency’ to get the jab


Florida has taken its first steps to prevent people travelling to the Sunshine State to get a Covid vaccine.

Now, anyone hoping to receive a jab  must have at least part-time residency in the state.

Seminole County Emergency Management Director Alan Harris said the new measure was discussed on Tuesday in a call with other Florida officials. 

He said: ‘We just got authorization at 11:15 this morning that if you do not own a home in the state of Florida, you need to get a shot somewhere else. Many other states are flying down here just to get the vaccine then flying back home. 

Gov Ron DeSantis (pictured) said yesterday that people need to have at least part-time residency in Florida to be given a dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Florida have changed their rules, which previously allowed anyone on the priority groups to receive a jab regardless of where they lived

‘You have to present a driver’s license, a power bill or something that says you’re a resident here in the state of Florida. That’s just gonna start tomorrow morning.’

The move comes as an effort to stop ‘vaccine tourism’ whereby people flock into a state to receive a Covid-19 vaccine and then return home after being given the jab. 

Previously, all Florida vaccine sites were open to anyone in the priority groups — frontline health care workers, residents and staff of long-term care facilities and seniors age 65 and older — regardless of state or county residency.  

However, speaking yesterday, Florida Governer Ron DeSantis said: ‘You got to live here, you know, either full time or at least part time.’

It comes after the mayor of Miami voiced his desire to reserve all coronavirus vaccine doses for residents who live inside city limits.

The move to prevent non-residents of Florida from getting a vaccine was announced by Seminole County Emergency Management Director Alan Harris in a bid to prevent 'vaccine tourism' in Florida. Pictured: People arrive at the Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami to receive a Covid vaccine on January 6

The move to prevent non-residents of Florida from getting a vaccine was announced by Seminole County Emergency Management Director Alan Harris in a bid to prevent ‘vaccine tourism’ in Florida. Pictured: People arrive at the Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami to receive a Covid vaccine on January 6

Recently, reports have surfaced that many snowbirds and rich people from places such as New York City have been flying down to Florida to receive the jab.

Federal regulations and guidance from emergency managers state that there cannot be residency requirements for vaccines.

But Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who pitched the idea during a city commission meeting on Thursday, says he wanted to implement a ‘Miami First’ policy, reported the Miami Herald.

Suarez requested that the city manager and attorney ‘take all legal steps necessary’ to give vaccines to elderly and vulnerable populations first and prevent non-residents from receiving the shots.  

‘We’re seeing a lot of high profile people who are in effect saying that they got priority over our residents,’ Suarez said. 

‘Obviously whatever we do has to pass legal muster.’ 

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said he wants to limit vaccine doses to people living within city limits. Pictured: Suarez during a press conference, March 2020

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said he wants to limit vaccine doses to people living within city limits. Pictured: Suarez during a press conference, March 2020

Suarez asked the the city manager and attorney 'take all legal steps necessary' to prevent nonresidents from getting vaccines before the elderly and high-risk

Suarez asked the the city manager and attorney ‘take all legal steps necessary’ to prevent nonresidents from getting vaccines before the elderly and high-risk

Meanwhile, Florida’s Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz stated during a meeting of the House Pandemic and Public Emergencies Committee in Tallahassee on Thursday that he is against any residency requirements.

‘You can’t do that,’ Moskowitz said. 

‘We got a dozen-plus fiscally constrained counties. People are going to have to cross county lines. We have transient populations here in the state. We can’t do that sort of stuff. It will have major implications down the road.’ 

Some local officials are for the plan and others are against it. 

Miami-Dade Commissioner Eileen Higgins, said it is a bad idea to allow cities to reserve vaccine doses for their residents, according to The Herald.

‘We shouldn’t allow municipal borders to limit a person’s access to life-saving vaccines based on which side of the street they live on,’ she said.

Meanwhile, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava told NBC 6 in a statement that she would likely to prioritize residents as well.

REAL ESTATE MOGULS ALLEGEDLY ARRANGE FOR RICH NEW YORK CITY FRIENDS TO GET VACCINE IN FLORIDA 

Real estate moguls Bill and David Mack allegedly arranged for their rich friends to receive COVID-19 vaccines in Florida.

Some of those people were flown by private jets from New York City while others are members of the exclusive Palm Beach Country Club.

The vaccinations are said to have occurred at the Joseph L. Morse Health Center in Palm Beach, of which David Mack is chair.

‘David and Bill Mack arranged for their friends from the Palm Beach Country Club to be vaccinated for COVID-19, ‘ a source told Page Six.

‘They apparently made a list of people who could get the vaccine, who one can only assume are their wealthy friends and clients.

‘Supposedly, some people flew down in private jets from New York just for the vaccine, if they were lucky enough to be on the list the brothers made.’

‘My priority is our local residents, and we are working to make sure we get shots into the arms of people who live in Miami-Dade as fast as possible,’ the statement read.

However, her office admitted that the county ‘can’t turn anyone away based on residence’ because of state policy. 

Florida was one of the first states, under orders from Gov Ron DeDantis (R) to open vaccines to members of the general public. 

Currently, anyone over the age of 65 can get a shot in addition to healthcare workers, first responders and people with pre-existing conditions.  

This has led to rumors that tourists, foreigner and residents of other states are arriving with the sole purpose of being immunized. 

DeSantis has discouraged people from flying to Florida to get vaccinated, but says reports of such cases are overblown.

At a news conference earlier this week, DeSantis said most non-residents getting shots are snowbirds who live in the state several months out of the year. 

‘I think it’s totally fine if they wanted to’ be vaccinated, he told reporters. 

‘It’s not like they’re just vacationing for two weeks…They have relationships with doctors. They get medical care in Florida…So that’s a little bit different than somebody that’s just doing tourism.’ 

However, several news outlets, including Page Six have reported that wealthy people, such as real estate moguls Bill and David Mack, arranged for their rich friends to receive COVID-19 vaccines.

Among them include members of the Palm Beach Country Club, which costs $100,000 to join, and people who were flown down on private jets.

The vaccinations reportedly took place at Joseph L. Morse Health Center in Palm Beach, a Florida retirement home chaired by David Mack.  

‘David and Bill Mack arranged for their friends from the Palm Beach Country Club to be vaccinated for COVID-19,’ a source told Page Six.

‘They apparently made a list of people who could get the vaccine, who one can only assume are their wealthy friends and clients.

‘Supposedly, some people flew down in private jets from New York just for the vaccine, if they were lucky enough to be on the list the brothers made.’    

It comes as real estate moguls Bill and David Mack reportedly helped get their friends jabs at a retirement home chaired by David. Pictured (left to right): David Mack, William Mack, Phyllis Mack, George Fellows and Diane Fellows attend The 19th Annual Food Allergy Ball, Benefiting Food Allergy Research & Education at Waldorf Astoria in New York City, December 2016

It comes as real estate moguls Bill and David Mack reportedly helped get their friends jabs at a retirement home chaired by David. Pictured (left to right): David Mack, William Mack, Phyllis Mack, George Fellows and Diane Fellows attend The 19th Annual Food Allergy Ball, Benefiting Food Allergy Research & Education at Waldorf Astoria in New York City, December 2016

Among the Macks' friends were members of the Palm Beach Country Club (above), which costs $100,000 to join, and people who were flown down on private jets.

Among the Macks’ friends were members of the Palm Beach Country Club (above), which costs $100,000 to join, and people who were flown down on private jets.

New York couple Phil and Roberta Rice, both in their early 70s, flew to their summer home in Florida earlier this month for four days to receive the vaccine

But the Macks are not the only ones jumping the line.

Phillip and Roberta Rice, a retired New York couple in their early 70s, flew to their winter home in Naples, Florida, to get the jab . 

They shared a photo on Facebook of themselves at Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers with a caption that read: ‘Vaccinated.’

Four days later, they flew to their home in Delmar, New York.   

The Rices say their appointments occurred on January 7, before New York changed its eligibility from people aged 75 and older to those 65 and older. 

‘We were up in the air. So when we saw that it looked more likely that we’d be able to get it in Florida much sooner, maybe even months sooner, decided to go for it,’ Phillip Rice told the Times Union.   

Meanwhile, elderly people in the state have been forced to camp out in cards overnight for their chance to get the jab.  

The issue was also raised by Broward County Sen Lauren Book (D) during a meeting of the Florida Senate Select Committee on Pandemic Preparedness and Response on Thursday, according to The Herald. 

Previously, anyone over the age of 65 could get a shot in Florida in addition to healthcare workers, first responders and people with pre-existing conditions. Pictured: Narbara Johnson smiles while receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a drive-through COVID-19 vaccination site at Strawberry Festival Fairgrounds in Plant City, Florida, January 13

Previously, anyone over the age of 65 could get a shot in Florida in addition to healthcare workers, first responders and people with pre-existing conditions. Pictured: Narbara Johnson smiles while receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a drive-through COVID-19 vaccination site at Strawberry Festival Fairgrounds in Plant City, Florida, January 13

Pictured: Cape Coral residents wait in line to receive a COVID-19 vaccine on December 30

Pictured: Cape Coral residents wait in line to receive a COVID-19 vaccine on December 30

When she asked Surgeon General Scott Rivkees why there are no residency requirements for seniors. he said it is because the vaccines were purchased by the federal government and asked to be distributed without restrictions.

Rivekees did say, according to The Herald, that vaccine tourism ‘is something abhorrent and absolutely should not happen. 

‘If we are made aware of situations where things are happening, this is something that will be looked into.’

In addition to setting up a mass vaccination site at Marlins Park – home of the Miami Marlins –  the state is also administering the vaccine at Hard Rock Stadium, in Miami-Dade County. 

News outlets reported that county officials have been told the two stadium sites will receive 7,000 doses each of the vaccine next week. 

Also on Thursday, Moskowitz announced plans for a statewide appointment system for COVID-19 vaccinations should be ready within weeks.

‘We’re working on a registration system that we plan to launch in the coming weeks to help integrate site registration and fix some of the problems that we’ve all read about,’ he said.

The design of a statewide online portal is still under discussion and will be made available to counties – who are not required to use the system – to help them coordinate vaccinations.

As of Wednesday, about 774,000 Floridians had at least one shot of two vaccines approved by the federal government.

More than 1.5 million people have tested positive for the virus in the state since the pandemic began and nearly 24,000 have died.

RETIRED TEACHERS IN THEIR 70S FLEW TO FLORIDA TO GET VACCINE AND THEN RETURNED HOME TO NEW YORK FOUR DAYS LATER 

By Marlene Lenthang for DailyMail.com 

A retired New York couple in their 70s flew to Florida, where they have a second home, for four days to receive the COVID vaccine amid growing concerns about tourists flying into the state for the shot – but Gov. Ron DeSantis denied there’s an influx of medical tourists.

Phil and Roberta Rice, both in their early 70s, wanted to get the vaccine as soon as possible because they both have underlying health conditions that make them vulnerable to severe complications from COVID-19.

The former schoolteachers live in Delmar, New York most of the year but have a second home in Naples, Florida where they spend the winters. This winter they stayed put due to the pandemic. 

In a desperate bid to get the vaccine as soon as possible they flew to Florida because the state was one of the first to prioritize inoculating people 65 and up.

They received the first shot of the Moderna vaccine on January 7, a week before New York changed its eligibility criteria to include people 65 and up on Tuesday. According to prior guidelines, those under the age of 75 weren’t slated to get the shot for months.

‘We were up in the air. So when we saw that it looked more likely that we’d be able to get it in Florida much sooner, maybe even months sooner, decided to go for it,’ Phil said to the Times Union.

Despite reports about tourists and day-trippers traveling to Florida just for the vaccine, Gov. DeSantis said they’re just ‘snowbirds’ returning to their second homes in the state, who could infect others if they aren’t vaccinated.



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