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COVID-19 vaccine available to more groups starting Wednesday

The COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson can now be distributed in the U.S..jpg
Posted at 4:47 PM, Mar 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-02 18:06:05-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Starting on Wednesday, more people in Florida will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

A new executive order from Gov. Ron DeSantis allows for sworn law enforcement officers, firefighters, and K-12 school employees who are 50 and older to have access to the vaccine.

The way a Publix spokesperson simply put it to WPTV is that the governor’s order does not require those specific groups to offer any documentation to prove they are eligible.

Right now it looks like every pharmacy will likely develop it’s own system to verify only those who are eligible are getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

At last, fifth grade teacher Jeanette Lopez has a chance to make teaching in the classroom safer for her and her students.

"It's gratifying to hear that teachers are being included in this part. I feel that all teachers should get vaccinated, not just a person that’s over 50," Lopez said.

Lopez, a Broward County School District, teacher had to return to the classroom in January when all Broward County teachers were mandated to return.

On Wednesday morning, she plans to log on her computer and hunt the vaccine booking sites for an appointment.

"Whatever is out there, I am going to try and try to line up because I know I'm not the only one that wants to get vaccinated," Lopez said.

In Palm Beach County, Palm Beach Central High School teacher Donald Perssons would like to see something similar to the POD that was set up by the county health department to vaccinate district employees over 65.

"To set up where they can make it real easy for teachers 50 and older to get the vaccine," Perssons said.

Publix said that as of Wednesday, those specific groups 50 and older are now eligible to book an appointment online.

Winn-Dixie pharmacies are making changes this week to implement a system without creating an "excessive burden of verification on pharmacy teams."

Walmart and Sam's Club sites have been updated to show the new eligible groups.

The Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County said those who now qualify for the vaccine can use the state’s appointment list to go on the county’s waitlist.

"I know for myself I will feel a lot more comfortable having the vaccine," Lopez said.