AARP Florida State Director, Jeff Johnson, issued the following statement today renewing the call for more transparency and clarity in the ongoing rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in Florida:
“We continue to hear from older Floridians who are frustrated and angry over how difficult the vaccination process is. Those who have the technology to access the various vaccination channels are frustrated by the lack of transparency and clear communication about how and when appointments open up – even those who have gotten appointments agree that it shouldn’t be so stressful. Those with challenges around technology, transportation and time are being unfairly excluded from the process. It doesn’t have to be this way.
“The frustration we are hearing threatens to overshadow the progress Florida is making in vaccinating key populations. Governor DeSantis’ decision to prioritize health care workers, residents and staff of long-term care facilities and Floridians 65+ was and is a sound, data-driven choice to prioritize those most vulnerable to COVID-19. The decision to open multiple channels of distribution – not just county health departments but also hospitals, medical practices and pharmacies – has the potential to expand access to vaccinations once supply allows.
“Pilot projects that deliver vaccines to homebound vulnerable Floridians and establishing pop-up vaccination clinics in underserved communities in partnership with local faith leaders offer opportunities to reach those left out by the current system, when scaled up. Most of all, Florida is vaccinating people at a better-than-average pace. But as long as so many Floridians struggle with the basics of getting an appointment, those positives are not going to get attention.
“AARP continues to believe that transparency and clarity are key to this major effort. We are advocating hard to ensure every older American who wants to get the vaccine can get it. This is an unparalleled opportunity for state and local governments to step up and provide the support, infrastructure and resources needed to succeed in vaccinating millions of Floridians.
“It’s our goal to be your trusted resource for up-to-date information on the vaccine rollout in Florida, and you can visit www.aarp.org/flvaccine for the latest news. AARP offers additional resources at aarp.org/coronavirus/ and in Spanish at aarp.org/ElCoronavirus. If you are willing to share your personal experience with the vaccination rollout, please email email@example.com.”
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