Central Florida seniors offered vaccination appointments hundreds of miles from home

Some Central Florida seniors say they’ve gotten vaccine appointments through the state’s website – but they’re hundreds of miles away.

Jerry Powers, 73, of Marion County, says he tried signing up through the state’s website and got a call back about an open appointment a couple of weeks ago.

The problem was it was in Broward County.

"At that point, the gal that I spoke with said just reapply again," Powers said.

He did reapply. And he got another call for an appointment this week.  

"Once again, I was offered an appointment in Broward and I explained that I live in Marion County and it’s like a 400-mile ride, but I appreciate it," Powers said.

The state’s vaccine sign-up website has a simple drop-down menu where people choose the county where they live and then enter their information. Then, they’re essentially on a waitlist.

"I signed up in Lake County and then I got a call from Broward," Sharon Badgley said.

The Lake County resident says she’s gotten four calls about available appointments in Broward County.

"She said she was going to take me off the list. I said, ‘I don’t want to be off the list, list… I want to be on in Lake County.’ She said she’d leave a note," Badgley said.

We reached out to the state’s Division of Emergency Management, the Governor’s Office and Health Department about this glitch. FOX 35 has not received a comment.

As for the seniors we interviewed, they still don’t have appointments set up.  

"It’s a shot in the dark. Maybe the third time will be the charm," Powers said.

"I know there are a lot of people who have gotten shots, but there are a lot of us that haven’t and they act like they’re almost ready to go onto the next group. And were not ready for that. They’re not getting us," Badgley said.

On Tuesday, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that the next group to be vaccinated would likely be teachers and law enforcement officers over 50.

State data shows more than two million Florida residents have been vaccinated.