State allows ‘medically vulnerable’ people to sign up for vaccine appointments

Immuno-compromised Floridians getting COVID vaccine

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) -The state has expanded vaccine eligibility to allow medically vulnerable individuals under 65 to sign up for a vaccine appointment.

This is good news for those with serious illnesses that undermine immunity. ABC7 spoke with Jonathan from Venice earlier this month as he spoke about his challenges obtaining a vaccine as a 48-year-old cancer survivor who definitely needs the vaccine but didn’t meet Florida’s previous requirements.

People Calling on State to Expand Vaccine Requirements

“It’s another miracle in Jon’s life really,” said his mother Sandy McGowan.

48-year-old Jonathan McGowan is a man of many miracles. He beat leukemia, survived multiple strokes and heart attacks and learned to live life partially paralyzed and with diabetes.

“My mom came in and was like you’re getting a shot Wednesday and I was like what!?!?”

With a new executive order in place Jonathan and thousands of other Floridians are now able to get vaccinated if they’re found extremely vulnerable to COVID-19.

“Well I’m very thankful to the Governor for making the changes, I think it’s going to help a lot of people,” said Sandy McGowan.

The eligibility was a part of the battle the other was landing an appointment.

“It takes a village but for our family it takes a family to get a vaccine,” said Sandy.

From Florida to Massachusetts-- family members were all online to try to get him a spot in line.

“I can go see a movie!!!! That was the one thing...she said I could do when I got my shots,” said Jonathan.

Jon and canine partner in crime Sophie hope others with similar stories are as lucky.

“Just have faith that everything will come together. In the right time. And don’t stress too much over it,” said Jonathan.

His biggest lesson in the last twelve months was to have a lot of patience.

In order to apply, you must go to Publix’s website, create an account and make an appointment.

Vaccines are all available at all 730 Publix pharmacies in Florida. Vaccination appointments are scheduled online only. Appointments cannot be made by calling Publix or a Publix pharmacy.

You can apply for an appointment here. Also, you can keep an eye on our Suncoast Vaccine Tracker here.

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