NewsLocal NewsCoronavirus


Medically vulnerable Florida residents struggle to access COVID-19 vaccine

'They turned me away,' Linda Somers says
Posted at 3:22 PM, Feb 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-10 17:14:02-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — People with chronic illness and health problems are waiting for their chance to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

There's confusion about when those who really need the vaccine will get it.


Linda Somers, 52, said it has been impossible to get a vaccine even though she has several chronic illnesses, which qualify her for the shot.

"I barely leave the house except for doctor appointments," Somers said.

The Florida Health Department states on their website that people who are extremely vulnerable now qualify for the vaccine.

Linda Somers
Linda Somers says she was turned away from getting the COVID-19 vaccine even though she is qualified in Florida.

Somers said she booked an appointment through the state's system, but when she showed up last week, they turned her away.

"They turned me away, not 65, nope," Somers said. "I had the doctor's note. I had everything with me just to be safe."

Jeff Davine, who has a heart condition and diabetes, is having similar issues in Martin County.

"It is kind of like winning the lottery to get an appointment," Davine said.

He said Publix will not schedule him an appointment, and his doctor's office doesn't have any vaccines available.

"I have been trying to get an appointment to do that since early January," Davine said.

Somers said her doctor's office doesn't have any vaccine available either.

Jeff Davine
Jeff Davine has a heart condition but says Publix will not allow him to book a vaccine appointment.

"Why is Walmart, Publix and things like that administering something that is such a big deal when doctors aren't?" Somer asked.

Both said they are fine with the state vaccinating the 65 and older population, but Somers said she worries it will be months before she can get her vaccine.

It's unclear which group of individuals the governor plans to prioritize next.

"I feel like people like me are falling through the cracks," Somers said.