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How old and high-risk does a FL resident have to be in order to get their covid vaccine? I'm managing my aunts (98 and 101) care from 1600 miles away. My cousin, who provides their daily hands-on care, has them on state and county waiting lists but I'm incredulous that they've not been able to get the shot yet. Am I being unrealistic? My own 91-yr old mom here in MN was automatically put on a waiting list through UCare, notified via email and will get a shot tomorrow. Should I be contacting UnitedHealthcare directly to see if they have their own waiting list/notification method (which may go faster)? I'm not yet on Medicare so don't understand its deeper workings. Anyone have any experience or suggestions?

UPDATE #3: Aunties and caregivers (my cousin & her hubs) now all have their first shot. No one the worse for it, but then there's that 2nd shot...

My cousin and hubs actually live in NJ and got "stuck" in FL for the full year due to covid. They haven't been home since March 2020. They asked me to go down to give them a break for about 2 months, which I will be doing. Packing up my 91-yr old mom, her 13-yr old dog, my laptop and heading down to FL to WFT (Work From Home) in a different state at end of May. This whole past year has been one unexpected change after another, which has had the benefit of "keeping me on my toes" and not getting complacent or assumptive about anything -- which happens very easily as we age. I do have sons and relatives who have also offered to come for a week here and there to help me during my stint. By time I get down there my mom will be 92, Aunt N 99 and Aunt A 102. Should be interesting. Thanks for all your responses and support on the vaccine topic. Here in MN I still haven't been called in for my 1st shot yet.
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Reply to Geaton777
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Florida is certainly a mess with their system - or lack of one - for COVID vaccines.

My county refuses to join the state run system because they think their system is perfectly fine. We are the county that’s been in the national news, showing the cars backed up for 7 miles, waiting for their vaccines. Yup, doing just fine.

Our county has 600,000 seniors (not in facilities) and we are getting 1500 to 2000 shots per week. That means it will take about 6 years just to do the seniors! Grrrrrr!
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AnnReid Feb 27, 2021
My sweet aunt (age 92) has had two separate Covid infections and will be getting her second vaccination in her MCU sometime this weekend

I, her only local relative and POA, have recovered from a mild Covid infection and at age 76, am eligible for vaccination but will be denied for another month and a half because of the immunity no one knows whether I have or not, PLUS THE FACT THAT THERE ARE NO AVAILABLE VACCINE APPOINTMENTS IN MY GEOGRAPHIC REGION.

I blame the virus first and politics a microscopically close second. If the lies told about the pandemic at year ago were to prevent panic, I’m not too sure they were successful.

‘’Keep the faith”!
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UPDATE #2: My cousin (the caregiver) took my 2 Aunties to the Fairgrounds for the vaccine. They would only give my cousin the shot. The email reservation she had received did not say who the reservation was for (she had to use the same email address to get my aunties on the waiting list) and there was no one to call to ask, so they all had to go and find out the hard way. She argued with them to give the aunts their shots since it was A LOT of effort to get them there and they are definitely in the high risk group. But they said they wouldn’t have enough for people with appts. Their spots should come up "soon". @#%$@?!
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Reply to Geaton777
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They are getting the shots at the Indian River Fair Grounds.
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worriedinCali Feb 15, 2021
That is good news! I’m glad they were able to get appointments. I’ve following the data closely and while I really hate the fact that the vaccine trials excluded the elderly, the data is showing that it’s people under 55 who are suffering the worst reactions. People over 70 are not suffering as many side effects.
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Geaton: I did see your update from eleven hours ago. This is the first time that I'm reading this particular thread of your's. That is great for your aunts!
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Reply to Llamalover47
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I live in Jacksonville Florida and I have read through all the posts and no one has mentioned the quantity of vaccines available to each site.

From what I understand each Wal*Mart that is participating in the program will receive 200 doses, No timeline for when more will be available. Although I do not know the quantity for Walgreens, CVS, Winn Dixie and other smaller sites but it will probably be around the 200 doses to start with. The quantities are very limited so far with the number of people waiting.

This has been mentioned before but to restate it:

THERE SHOULD BE NO COST FOR THE COVID VACCINE FOR ANYONE. Watch out for scams.

In Duval County/Jacksonville for the main site you call 1-866-200-3762. and leave your info. A few days later you get a call notifying you of you scheduled appointment

Also note that the vaccines, so far, do NOT prevent COVID but "should lessen your symptoms. This has not been widely publicized .

Florida has a very large senior base and with over 100 people moving to Florida daily, that is sure to grow. Also, many "snowbirds" are staying longer to try to get their vaccine here instead of their home state,

I hope this adds some insight to the problems.
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Reply to garylee
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So glad they are being scheduled at last. Some counties in Florida have been having much worse shortages than others. My DH and I were on 3 different waiting lists, Sumter County, Lake County and the VA. We are both over 65. The VA came through for us and we got our first vax (Pfizer) on 05 FEB and second one is scheduled for 25 FEB. The only thing was we had to drive 90 minutes each way to the VA hospital, but it was very efficient when we got there, only 2 cars in front of us on the ground level of parking garage. We never got out of our car. Had to wait 15 minutes in case of reaction, then they released us and we drove home. We were told 14 more days after 2nd shot to achieve full immunity. I have not gotten a haircut nor gone to Sam's Club in over a year!
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Reply to NavyVet90
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Call around to some of the smaller drug stores as well as CVS Walmart and Kroger. I will also tell you that you might have better luck getting the shot at a store that is in a predominantly black or hispanic neighborhood.
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Reply to XenaJada
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Not sure about FL but here in CA there are a few ways to get the vaccine at their ages (almost everyone I know 65+ has gotten it if they wanted). You can try the county and/or city department of health and sign up for the next available slot. You can also go directly to the websites for the pharmacies that are giving the vaccines (the chains vary by state) and sign up for a slot. The sites that I've visited just have you click on the button that says you're 65+ and you are offered time slots.

I know how frustrating it is, but it shouldn't be that difficult at their ages. I have two risk factors for serious COVID but am "only" 60, so still not eligible. But, as I said, everyone 65+ here has been able to get it in fairly short order.

Best of luck.
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Labmom Feb 14, 2021
My parents 87 & 96 in CA have Kaiser & Kaiser is not doing anything. All slots at pharmacy's are booked. County places the drive thru some took 6 hrs plus they can't wait that long in a car. The other at fairgrounds, walking but at least maybe a bathroom near by. Still can't get an appt. So just continuing to watch websites & call, or lists. Not all elderly people use internet they don't so I'm doing what I can. Glad you know people that got it.
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There are serious shortages of vaccines everywhere, but the shortages are more acute in some places. My own mother, who is 96, has multiple underlying health problems, was notified of being "eligible" for vaccination nearly a month ago. She has yet to get her first shot. The "eligibility" lists are based on criteria that do not include actual availability of vaccine. This does strike me as really foolish, but it is what it is. We have to simply wait until there is available vaccine and an appropriate venue in which to receive it. My own mom is really only able to do a drive-through event. Realistically, the nonsensical "eligibility" lists tend to create a competition between the various groups for the available vaccines. My sisters and I, though very disappointed, have determined that we will keep Mom in isolation as long as it takes for her to safely receive the vaccine. Life is seldom fair. We have come to accept the situation and deal with it by checking the lists once each week and minding our other affairs the rest of the time.
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Reply to LittleOrchid
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They have to be 65+ and now, underlying conditions also make them eligible. In New York, waiting lists have been useless. Try the websites for pharmacies that are in the Federal program: Walgreens, CVS, RiteAid. I was able to make appointments directly from the pharmacy websites, and could choose a convenient location.
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Reply to NYCdaughter
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I live in Florida and my mom moved here a couple of years ago - different counties. Some counties have less people and seem to get those vaccines earlier. Remember, there are A LOT of seniors in Florida that qualify for vaccinations now. Being registered with county and state is the best bet right now. Seniors - 65+ years and those with health problems are "front of the line" but there are a LOT in that population group here. The ladies will get their vaccines soon.
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my2cents Feb 14, 2021
Totally understandable in Florida where so much of the population is elderly, retired folks.
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UPDATE: my Aunties FINALLY got the email and will get their vaccines tomorrow (2/15/21) - YEA! This means that after they get their second shot in 3 weeks I can finally go visit them. My cousin (their caregiver) said the email didn't specify any names, so she is assuming it is for their "household". She will hopefully also get the shot. Not sure where they are getting the shots.

Thank you to everyone for giving me your insights and suggestions and support!
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BarbBrooklyn Feb 14, 2021
Great news!!
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Help is on the way. The news reports say vaccines are being shipped to drug stores starting this week! Call your local CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Safeway, Albertsons or any other Pharmacy in town. Good luck!
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LittleOrchid Feb 14, 2021
I have also heard this news. It somewhat mystifies me, as we have been carefully remaining in isolation, avoiding going to grocery stores or, really, anywhere. Groceries and other goods are delivered. The CDC and WHO have not changed their recommendations that those over 65 should stay at home in isolation. What good does it do them if pharmacies have vaccines? No pharmacy in our area is a safe place for seniors. Nearly all are located in the back of a grocery or other store, on a wall furthest from the doors. I think drive-through vaccination centers are the only really good options for the elderly and frail. I wonder why are we are not seeing more of these as options?
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Florida now is finally having more & more vaccine locations. Just type Florida Covid-19 vaccines, and a list of places will automatically pop up. Most private doctors do not yet have the vaccine.
Is your Aunt in a nursing home, or living with someone?
I was able to sign my 81year old mother up this past Friday morning on Puplix.com/Covid-19 vaccine. Waited 3 hours on Wednesday morning so be patient, I was using 2 cell phones and a computer to be increase my chances.
My mother will be getting her vaccine this Monday the 15th and is already automatically signed up for 2nd dose March 15th. Hope this helps!
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Reply to Gypsy563
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I am in Flordia and have received notices from The health care systems in my town.
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Reply to MsRandall
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How ironic that they used to work for Pfizer and can’t get the jab.
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Geaton777 Feb 14, 2021
I know, right??
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They can be on any list at any site. There should be no problem with any insurance plan.
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Reply to Grandma1954
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There is a phone number to call in the state 866-201-6313

They collect some info on the phone, and call back with available appointment times. It has worked for several friends.
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Reply to karenonthames
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Contact the senior center in their area as many of them are scheduling vaccinations. Several of my neighbors (in their 90’s) in Naples haven gotten theirs through the Collier County senior center. I was able to get mine through the Publix lottery which is now scheduling them three times a week. You don’t need to be here in Florida to schedule an appointment online, family members have gotten them from other locations in the US: publix.com/vaccine
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Reply to Susanonlyone
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Yesterday, 2-10, it was announced that in Jacksonville, Florida many of the walmarts will be administering the vaccines to 65 and older. Schedule an appointment online.
Hope this helps.
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Reply to InFamilyService
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Yes, Geaton you can use this link to register them.

https://myvaccine.fl.gov/

I found it impossible to get into the Publix que even when logging on at 5AM and staying on the page the whole time. All the slots fill in about an hour and a half, and that's never even making it to the waiting line :( So just know that the FL rollout has been slow. I've had my mom registered for weeks now and haven't heard anything.

It's possible that your aunts are in a county that has a better supply, so maybe they will get called sooner. Good luck. I hope they are able to get it ASAP.

Edit to add- I talked to my mom's primary care office yesterday and I was told that no doctor offices have the vaccine yet. :( Our governor here has done a terrible job, and MANY are waiting.
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disgustedtoo Feb 14, 2021
Gee, wonder how the expression "Florida, not like the rest of us" came about?

It has been a bit of a scramble no matter where you live, but FL always seems to be the leader of the pack!

It's also probably hard to get through because there are SO many seniors in FL!! Must be the nicer weather or something...
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check out CVS, RITE AID, AND TARGET.... they may have an answer for this question.
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Reply to MAYDAY
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From what I read, the vaccine is free to everyone getting it. Insurance and Medicare are not involved. Here in my state people are going to border states to get the vaccine
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jkm999 Feb 10, 2021
In some places, some hospitals I think, they are asking for insurance information. Insurance is not required in order to get the vaccine so I've been told that it's easiest to just mark "no insurance" when filling out the on-line forms in the interest of speed. It's best to get all your info together before you start any process even though you may not need all the insurance/medicare info. On one site I registered on I needed all of it; on another one I didn't need anything.
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I'm in Florida and signed up for the emergency management alerts from my county and town. They send text messages when appointment signups will open up so you can be ready, at your computer, with all your info in hand to play "sign-up lottery." Appointments are generally for a week or two out so you don't need to worry about them "getting ready" for an appointment. When you go to the site don't dither about the dates and times or you'll lose your place in the queue. Also, in Florida Publix has its own signup system and Walmart will soon be a vaccination site and will probably have its own signup. This news article may have some helpful info for you. https://www.clickorlando.com/news/local/2020/12/28/heres-how-you-will-know-when-you-can-get-the-covid-19-vaccine-in-florida/

Even if your cousin has them on waiting lists for the waiting lists for the state/county public health service they can continue to try to score an appointment through Publix/Walmart.
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Geaton777 Feb 11, 2021
Thank you!
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Hi, Geaton, I didn't mean that their doctor might give the vaccine (because of the storage issues, I don't know of any doctors offices stocking it). Just that the doc might have some resources. But I guess not, if he is a turtle.

I am going to assume that if they get an appointment, it will be a few days hence and they will have time to compose themselves.

My brother (in Florida) said that one 101 year old lady, told she had an appointment for the following Saturday said , "Oh no, I can't get it then. That's the day I have my bath".

It sounded to us exactly like something our mom would have said.

Good luck!
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Geaton777 Feb 11, 2021
Haha! totally laughed out loud reading that on my couch at midnight and startled my dog :-)
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To add: I would be calling these ladies' doctors, not their insurance companies, about access to the vaccine.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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Insurance or lack thereof should not be a bar to getting COVID vaccine.

My brother told me the other day that vaccine is available at all Publix stores.

Is your cousin a sophisticated user of the Internet?

https://www.publix.com/covid-vaccine

It looks like more appointments will be available after 2.12. You might want to check what time the site opens for making appointments; I'm told folks get up at midnight to do this.
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Geaton777 Feb 10, 2021
Yes, my cousin's husband is a tech guy so he's on top of the Publix/CVS/Walgreens whatever thing. One issue is they can't get ready very fast so if an appointment comes open, it would take until next to get them there. They are very ancient turtles and move at the pace of moss growing. We did call their doctor (also an ancient turtle who is as old as they are and should retire!!!!) and he is not providing the vaccine. They are so enamored with him I can't get them to go to someone else. Thanks for checking the appointments list, Barb.
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I wish that I could offer real help. All I can do is offer support.

I am so sorry that you are faced with this challenging situation.

Hoping that your aunts will be able to receive the vaccine soon.

It’s frustrating having to wait to be vaccinated.

Many people have said that this process isn’t as organized as they would like to see.
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Geaton777 Feb 10, 2021
Thanks so much for your supportive words... I've not heard great things about the Advantage coverage (but it's the only one their former employer, Pfizer, offers them). I did call UHC and they said there is no other waiting list, just through the FL Dept of Health. This is so frustrating as I have many relatives wishing to go visit them but neither they nor my cousins (their hands-on caregivers) have gotten their vaccines yet and so don't want visitors. For my 101-yr old Aunt, she is sharp as a tack still with no health issues so would not be surprised if she lived another 5 years easily, so I'm not willing to risk her getting covid and suffering/dying.
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