The Daily Beast

Florida Guv Gave Out VIP Vaccines. This Is Who Got Screwed.

Bryan R. Smith / AFP / Getty

MIAMI—About three weeks ago, Jane McPherson put her name on a standby list of older folks seeking the COVID-19 vaccine from the health department in Manatee, a county of roughly 400,000 people on the gulf coast of Florida. That list swelled to nearly 158,000 senior citizens, and the 65-year-old resident of Bradenton, the county seat, is still waiting for her shot.

“I’m stuck in the queue,” she told The Daily Beast, referring to the local vaccine lottery system. “No one has called me. I guess I need to pursue it harder.”

Last week, McPherson tried signing up for a vaccine shot at her local Publix, the Lakeland, Florida-based grocery store chain that Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration picked for an exclusive pilot program to inoculate seniors at hundreds of pharmacy locations statewide.

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