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Jackson expands COVID-19 vaccines to patients 55+ with specific medical conditions

Broward mayor asks DeSantis to widen groups that can get shots

Jackson Health System will expand its shots next week, and Broward County's mayor is lobbying the state to spread the doses even further.

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Jackson Health System is expanding its vaccinations to Floridians 55 and older if they have a specific medical condition that has shown to be high-risk for COVID-19.

Those conditions are:

  • Breast Cancer
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • COPD
  • Coronary artery disease with bypass
  • Down Syndrome
  • End-stage renal failure
  • Leukemia
  • Lung cancer
  • Lymphoma
  • Morbid obesity, defined as a body mass index above 40
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Solid organ transplant recipient

They will begin next week, Jackson President and CEO Carlos Migoya announced Friday afternoon.

Residents 55 and older and with at least one of those conditions can make appointments online at jacksonhealth.org when doses are available.

Migoya said they will likely start taking appointments online Tuesday for appointments on Wednesday.

Updates on appointment availability will be shared on Twitter and Instagram at @JacksonHealth.

“In addition to showing proof of Florida residency, people age 55 to 64 must also provide a doctor’s note, which must show the patient’s name, the medical condition they’re being treated for, the physician’s recommendation/order for a COVID-19 vaccine, and the doctor’s signature,” Jackson said.

Jackson provided a sample of a doctor’s note that shows all of the necessary information, which can be seen below:

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order calls for vaccines in the state to be limited to residents 65 and older, or frontline healthcare workers, but it includes a clause that hospitals and doctors can administer shots to patients “who they deem to be extremely vulnerable to COVID-19.”

The move to expand vaccinations comes as the demand for doses among the 65+ population lessens.

“We will continue to take care of people over 65 with any kind of conditions or no conditions,” Migoya said.

Also on Friday, Broward County Mayor Steve Geller wrote a letter to DeSantis requesting that vaccine eligibility expand in the state to people over 55, law enforcement officers and teachers.

“People over 55 have an increased risk of bad results from exposure to COVID, all first responders run the risk of contracting COVID while protecting us, and vaccinating teachers will help with a full return of children to our schools,” Geller said.

Geller says Broward has already vaccinated about 175,000 seniors, and he estimates that about 150,000 of those are residents of the county.

So at the current rate, that would mean every Broward senior who wants a vaccine should have at least one dose in the next 3 to 4 weeks.

“There’s only 340,000 seniors in Broward, and if you assume 70-75% will take the vaccinations right now or want them right now, that’s about 250,000,” Geller said, “That means we’re only about 100,000 short of vaccinating every senior that wants it, and we’re currently vaccinating at a rate of around 150-200,000 people per month.”

About the Authors:

David Selig is the Digital Executive Producer at WPLG, overseeing Local10.com.

Ian Margol joined the Local 10 News team in July 2016 as a general assignment reporter. Born in Miami Beach and raised in Broward County, Ian is thrilled to be back home in South Florida.