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Florida

Florida Addresses 'Vaccination Tourism' By Excluding Out-Of-State Residents

Vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are prepared for distribution in Pinellas County on Dec. 16, 2020.
Vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are prepared for distribution in Pinellas County on Dec. 16, 2020.

Pointing to limited amounts of COVID-19 vaccine, Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees issued an advisory Thursday aimed at limiting vaccinations to residents and health-care workers.

The advisory came amid concerns about vaccination “tourism” involving people traveling to Florida from other states to get shots.

Through Wednesday, Florida had vaccinated about 1.18 million people, with nearly 41,000 having residences listed as out of state, according to a Department of Health breakdown.

Under Rivkees’ advisory, providers would have to check to make sure intended vaccine recipients are Florida residents or people in Florida to provide health-care services that involve direct contact with patients.

The two-page advisory said, in part, that “the COVID-19 vaccine remains scarce within the United States and vaccine availability in Florida is extremely limited.”

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