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These wealthy donors received COVID-19 vaccines from a Florida nursing home

A nursing home in Florida had extra vaccines. So residents, board members and generous donors received some doses.

Syringes containing the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, are shown before being administered, Monday, Jan. 4, 2021, at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.
Syringes containing the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, are shown before being administered, Monday, Jan. 4, 2021, at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.
Wilfredo Lee, Associated Press

Wealthy donors to a Florida nursing home recently received doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, which might have violated distribution laws in the state.

What happened?

MorseLife had some extra COVID-19 vaccines from a federal program for residents and staff for long-term care facilities.

  • The nursing home then offered extra vaccines to board members and generous donors, including some of who were members of the Palm Beach Country Club, according to The Washington Post.

Why it matters

Per The Washington Post, the move might have violated the national immunization guidelines and state protocols. However, state officials told The Washington Post that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis did not spell out clearly what the plan is for distributing the vaccine.

  • “The MorseLife episode highlights how the country’s patchwork approach to immunization against the coronavirus — leaving decisions about eligibility to state and local authorities as well as to individual providers — is creating opportunities for facilities to provide access to well-connected people while thousands of others wait in line,” the Post article stated.

Any reaction?

Florida Rep. Omari Hardy criticized MorseLife for allegedly “selling access to this vaccine.”

  • “There’s been one pandemic for the rich and entirely different pandemic for the poor.”