Dozens pretend to be healthcare workers, get COVID-19 vaccine in Florida: FEMA

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About 50 people at a vaccination site in Florida falsely claimed they were healthcare workers to get the COVID-19 vaccine, prompting the Federal Emergency Management Agency to meet with staffers to reinforce protocols, FEMA spokesperson Marty Bahamonde told CNN. 

On March 6, dozens of people who didn't qualify for the vaccine lied to cut the line at a Florida City vaccination location. Site staff asked the individuals to provide proof they were healthcare workers, which they were unable to produce, Mr. Bahamonde told CNN.

"So, the staff, trusting them and taking their word for it instead of turning them away, they gave them the vaccine," Mr. Bahamonde said.

"Those people then went out and told their friends, 'Hey, I went in and just said this and got a free vaccine.' And more and more people started to come in and then the word got out that people were getting vaccine who didn't meet the governor's criteria," Mr. Bahamonde told CNN. 

On March 7, ineligible people crowded the vaccination site hoping to get the shot. Groups of people were turned down because they didn't meet the state's criteria, which includes adults 65 and older; those under 65 considered "medically vulnerable" by a physician; healthcare workers; and school employees, law enforcement officers and firefighters 50 and older. 

Following the incident, FEMA met with staffers and told them they must ensure people are eligible before administering the vaccine. 

More articles on public health:
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COVID-19 vaccinations up 36% in 1 week: 12 CDC stats to know
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