Florida downplays reports of medical tourism for vaccines

Posted at 12:17 PM, Jan 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-15 12:17:04-05

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Florida officials are pushing back against claims that nonresidents are swooping into the state to get vaccinated.

The tourist mecca was one of the first to open vaccine eligibility to members of the general public over age 65.

That has led to rumors that day-trippers are visiting only to get inoculated and then leaving again.

Gov. Ron DeSantis and other officials say the nonresidents who are getting shots are almost entirely “snowbirds,” residents who live in the state for several months during the winter and who could infect others if they aren’t vaccinated.

Health department records released this week show that about 4% of the 650,000 people who have been inoculated in Florida list an out-of-state residence.