NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) – Large crowds are showing up to distribution sites as vaccine eligibility continues to expand. Some people who do not meet the current criteria are still hoping to receive their shot at prevention.
Several people gathered at the FEMA-supported vaccination site at Miami-Dade College’s North Campus, Tuesday morning.
Many of those in line told 7News they do not meet any of the qualifications in order to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, but that they have been allowed to receive the shot nonetheless.
Some recipients said they heard through the grapevine that no questions were being asked at the site.
They showed up, walked in and were asked to show their driver’s license and received their shot. They did not need a doctor’s note or need to meet the age requirement.
“People told us that they were giving vaccines to people our age, so we came,” said a young woman.
“We heard through the grapevine that it was available and we just wanted to be able to get it if it was available,” said Jason Alper.
“They were very easy about it,” said Stacy Alper. “It wasn’t any questions asked or anything.”
“I’m 47, I don’t have any conditions or anything, so this was the only opportunity for me to jump and get it,” said Alessandro Salamone, who received the vaccine.
Salamone doesn’t qualify under state or federal guidelines to receive the vaccines. But he said after seeing through social media that the state-run site wasn’t enforcing the rules, he figured he would give it try.
“They asked me if I was 18, about allergies, if I take any medications, and that’s it,” he said.
The walk-up vaccination site also hasn’t been living up to its name. People without cars or getting dropped off at the site have mostly been turned away Tuesday, upsetting some who said they actually qualify for the vaccine.
“That’s the way it is. I think there’s a misunderstanding, a lack of information,” said a woman.
Currently, recipients of the vaccine must be at least 65 years old, or they need to be a school employee, first-responder or work in healthcare.
Anyone under 65 is eligible, but only if they have an underlying health condition and have a doctor’s note.
In the meantime, there appears to be a lot of confusion at the Miami-Dade College’s North Campus vaccination site about who is eligible to get a vaccine, and who is not.
However, the lack of questions is helpful to some with underlying medical conditions who weren’t able to get any type of documentation.
“I was really worried about coming to see if I would be denied, but thankfully I wasn’t, so I was able to get my shot,” said Chaz Dunn.
State officials said that Miami-Dade Police should not be turning away anyone who is walking up to the walk-up vaccination site no matter how they show up.
They also said that the Miami-Dade College North Campus site needs to do a better job of asking questions and making sure that only people who qualify for the vaccine are receiving it.
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