Two Florida women dressed up as elderly citizens in order to get vaccinated against the Wuhan coronavirus. Reports said the two wore bonnets, gloves and glasses to disguise their age before going to the vaccination site for Orange County. The gimmick managed to work the first time they tried it, but authorities caught the two as they tried to get their second and last dose.
People aged 65 years old and above are eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccines in the state of Florida. Given this requirement, the two women – a 34-year-old and a 44-year-old – dressed up like grandmothers before going to the Orange County Convention Center for their scheduled immunization.
Florida Department of Health Orange County Director Dr. Raul Pino said in a Feb. 18 press briefing: “We realized that a couple of young ladies came dressed up as grannies to get vaccinated for the second time. I don’t know how they escaped the first time, but they came [to get] vaccinated. There were some issues with their IDs and their driver’s licenses, but I don’t know all the details about them,” he said.
The health director said he did not know how the women managed to get their first shot.
According to Pino, vaccinators noticed the pair “looked funny” and stopped them immediately. Authorities were then informed of the two women’s disguises. The Daily Caller reported that the Orange County Sheriff’s Office sent deputies to the site and issued trespass warnings to both women. The women’s real names were on the vaccination cards but the dates of birth were incorrect, the site added.
Meanwhile, Click Orlando reported that further investigation will be conducted to find out if the two women actually received the first dose of the vaccine. It also mentioned that there are no charges pending from the sheriff’s office.
Pino confirmed the investigation, saying: “Part of the findings we have to do is [if they] were really vaccinated by us, when [were they] vaccinated, and what date … [and] time. [This is] to figure out if there are any holes [or] loopholes in the process that are allowing people to do that.”
The health director lamented the incident. “It’s kind of hilarious to a sense, but it’s also disappointing because they are taking the place that someone else in much higher need could have had.”
As a result of the ruse and other “weird things happening,” Pino explained that security has been increased at the Orange County Convention Center. The venue, used as a COVID-19 vaccination site, has been seeing more than 2,500 shots being administered every day.
The health director elaborated: “We have seen an increase in weird things happening, [such as] people walking in suspicious [and] people monitoring the site. So that’s why we requested additional security that was provided. We installed cameras and other security features in the vaccine room.”
The two women wearing disguises just to get COVID-19 vaccines is not an isolated case. Pino commented that attempts by different individuals to cut the line when it comes to vaccinations were all “different and creative.”
He shared one instance: “There was another individual that had the same name of his father. [He] came with a card, but a different birthday. But you know, we have access to a lot of information – so we can verify who is who [and] where they were born. Anything that you can imagine, we have access to.” Pino pointed out that had the women entered their correct birth dates when registering for an appointment, they would have been blocked by the system as they were too young. He surmised that they could have either used false details or obtained help from someone working at the site.
Some residents have also taken a direct approach to getting vaccinated. Nurses have reported strangers accosting them as they finish their shift at 10 p.m., asking if they have any extra vaccine doses to spare.
The health director thought there might be more people who managed to get the jab ahead of their turn. “I think it’s higher than we suspect, to be honest with you. As we are engaged in this process and [are] trying to move people quickly, some people could squeeze in, so it’s probably higher than we suspect,” he said.
Ultimately, Pino exhorted residents to be more patient with the process. While many are anxious about when they would get immunized against the Wuhan coronavirus, the most vulnerable to COVID-19 would get their shots first. (Related: Florida man develops and dies from rare autoimmune disorder days after receiving Pfizer coronavirus vaccine.)
Tagged Under: coronavirus vaccine, covid-19 pandemic, disguises, Florida, Florida Department of Health, immunity, insane, lunatics, mass immunization, middle-aged women, Orange County, pandemic, Raul Pino, senior citizens, vaccine priority, vaccine wars, vaccines, Wuhan coronavirus
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