State focused on Seniors First approach for vaccines, people with underlying conditions wondering when it’s their turn

State focused on Seniors First approach for vaccines, people with underlying conditions wondering when it’s their turn

VENICE, Fla. (WWSB) -The state has taken a senior first approach when it comes to the distribution of the vaccine across Florida. During a press conference last week in Venice Governor DeSantis reiterated seniors will remain a priority for now. In an executive order he signed in December the Governor noted seniors 65 and older and frontline healthcare workers could receive the vaccine. The same order noted hospitals can administer the vaccine to any one under 65 that has a weakened immune system. The problem? Hospitals we’ve reached out to over the last several weeks say they don’t have sufficient doses of the vaccine to open it up to patients under 65 with underlying health conditions.

Some say the time is now for the state to move forward with helping facilitate vaccines for people with weakened immune systems that don’t meet the age requirement. 48-year-old Jonathan McGowan has been home for most if not all of the last year ordering from Insta Cart and Door Dash to keep afloat.

“Just get a little bored but I got my dog to help me,” said Jonathan.

He’s a cancer survivor who has experience multiple strokes that left him somewhat paralyzed. He’s also had a heart attack and open hot surgery. On top of it all he has diabetes.

“Everyone agrees that he should have the vaccine but we can’t seem to get it anywhere because of his age,” Jonathan’s mother, Sandy McGowan.

Sandy and her husband Robert already received the first dose of the vaccine but their concern right now is their son with a compromised immune system.

“I’ve been waiting and waiting,” said Jonathan. For the golden opportunity.

“And then you get an email shortly after saying sorry you’re not able to get it because you’re not 65 or older,” said Jonathan.

But the Governors focus right now is the seniors. Here’s what he told us in Venice last week:

“We’re putting our parents and grandparents first on this and our goal is to give every senior a shot that wants a shot and we’re going to keep doing that and we’re not going to change until the seniors are taken care of,” said Gov. DeSantis.

But Jonathan’s family wants the state to make exceptions and provide doses of the vaccine for those vulnerable.

“We have a letter from his cardiologist saying he should be vaccinated as quick as possible,” said Robert, Jonathan’s dad.

Their family like many others asking the state to move to the next wave of people allowed to get vaccinated.

As for Jonathan...

“I would love to go see a movie”

It’s the little things he misses most.

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