Anyone 18 or older who showed up at Florida City FEMA site given COVID-19 shot, even non-eligible

Confusion at a FEMA sites get people not yet on the eligibility list COVID-19 vaccines Saturday.

FLORIDA CITY, Fla. – On Saturday, anyone who showed up that was 18 or over with a doctor’s note or not, and who did or didn’t meet eligibility requirements were able to get a COVID-19 shot at a FEMA site in Florida City.

It is unclear why workers administered shots into the arms of anyone 18 and over, but it may have been that there had been low demand at the site for the past week. However, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ order dictates that recipients in that age group must be in a high-risk category and arrive with a doctor’s note or an eligibility form signed by a doctor.

Word spread quickly on social media about the shots-for-all in Florida City, prompting lines of people on Sunday hoping to get a shot at the Youth Activity Center.

Saima Haque said a tweet prompted her to drive nearly 100 miles from Boynton Beach in hopes of getting the shot.

“I saw a tweet on Twitter about people over 18. They were being given out yesterday and they were gonna do it today, as well. My dad at home is sick, so we’re just trying to get it,” Haque said. “If it doesn’t work, nothing much we can do.”

It didn’t work. In fact, operators at the FEMA site reverted back to the governor’s order as soon as the site reopened Sunday morning.

Florida City police were on hand for crowd control and to help get the message across. Many people who did not fit the requirements were turned away.

The back-and-forth at the Florida City site prompted Miami-Dade’s mayor to issue a tweet aimed at the governor urging him to expand the eligibility requirements.

“Our top priority must be to get shots in arms as fast as possible and ensure no available vaccine supply goes unused. I urge the Governor to expand eligibility requirements to meet the great demand in our community and across the state.”

RELATED: Find out who is eligible for a vaccine in Florida.

About the Authors:

Terrell Forney joined Local 10 News in October 2005 as a general assignment reporter. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, but a desire to escape the harsh winters of the north brought him to South Florida.

Michelle F. Solomon is the podcast producer/reporter/host of Local 10's original, true-crime podcast The Florida Files and a digital journalist for Local