Just days after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ignored CDC advice to declare that the state’s elderly will be the first to get the COVID-19 vaccine, senior citizens in some areas have waited outside all night in lawn chairs just to get a chance at getting their first dose. Multiple local media reports described what one resident called an “out of control” vaccine rollout, with websites for appointments crashing almost immediately, vaccination sites filling up so quickly they themselves likely pose a risk of infection, and mixed messages about who could get the vaccine. In Lee County, senior citizens began lining up on Sunday night for vaccinations scheduled to begin on Monday on a first-come, first-served basis. The site hit capacity hours before vaccinations even began, and on the next day, three other vaccination sites were filled up by 7 a.m.
“This rollout has been out of control in terms of any kind of consistency,” 69-year-old Wayne Frongello told USA Today after trying to make an appointment for himself and his 95-year-old dad to get the vaccine. Frongello was among the many residents who eagerly tried to sign up for a shot online only to see the website repeatedly crash, while all the available slots filled up in the meantime. Elsewhere, some hoping to get the vaccine reported conflicting messages, with some people being told the vaccine was not available while others were still able to make appointments.