Content starts here
AARP AARP States Florida Press

AARP Florida’s Statement on Expansion of Vaccine Eligibility

March 2, 2021

CONTACT: Jamie Champion Mongiovi, AARP Florida
(850) 559-7003, 

TALLAHASSEE – AARP Florida State Director Jeff Johnson issued the following statement today thanking Governor DeSantis for his efforts to expand vaccine eligibility and encouraging older Floridians to continue to pursue their vaccinations.

“As Florida continues to grapple with challenges of this global pandemic, we understand the need to continue vaccinating as many people as possible, quickly and efficiently. AARP Florida appreciates Governor DeSantis’ efforts from the very beginning to prioritize our most vulnerable citizens, long-term care residents and staff, and health care workers. The new Executive Order issued Monday, which allows for vaccination of 50+ law enforcement, K-12 school employees, and firefighters, is an example of Florida’s strong commitment to continued prioritization of at-risk individuals.

“While this expansion is a necessary step in the right direction, AARP Florida continues to hear from many older Floridians who are struggling with the current vaccination process. As newly eligible classes of vaccine seekers are added to the pool of those competing for limited appointments, Floridians should be worried that those who have so far been shut out of the system will lose hope and become ‘vaccine discouraged.’ The success of Florida’s vaccination effort will depend on vaccinating everyone who wants the vaccine, so we cannot afford to let anyone who is currently eligible and interested feel as if they have lost their opportunity. We are urging those individuals approved for the first wave of vaccinations not to give up, and to continue to pursue vaccination appointments.

“Lack of access, technology, transportation and supply are at the heart of their distressing experiences. It is deeply concerning that Florida still has no clear, transparent vaccination plan to address these troubling issues. We need all Florida vaccinators to ensure that those who have been knocking on their virtual doors are not shoved aside and forgotten by the next wave of eligible vaccine seekers. Establishing systems that allow pre-registration and using virtual queues instead of opening first-come appointment windows can level the playing field for those who lack the technology to succeed in the current system. Empowering social service agencies, like those in the aging network, to provide help for those without online access is also necessary.“AARP Florida will continue fighting to protect the health and well-being of our members and all Floridians as we work together to defeat this virus.”AARP will continue to provide information about COVID-19 vaccines at and in Spanish at

# # #

 AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With nearly 38 million members and offices in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and advocate for what matters most to families with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the nation's largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.

About AARP Florida
Contact information and more from your state office. Learn what we are doing to champion social change and help you live your best life.