Two unnamed women disguised to appear elderly were foiled in an attempt to get the coronavirus vaccine in Orlando, Florida, on Wednesday.
At a Thursday press conference, Orange County health administrator Dr. Raul Pino told a bizarre story: Two women showed up to a COVID-19 vaccination site, posing as senior citizens eligible for vaccination. The pair were, in Dr. Rino’s words, “dressed up as grannies” for their performance.
Decked out in disguises that included gloves, spectacles, and even bonnets, the women even presented legitimate Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cards to show the ruse had already worked once — they were there for the second round. “I don’t know how they escaped the first time,” Pino said.
The would-be “grannies” were issued trespassing warnings by law enforcement authorities at the request of the health department but were not otherwise charged. They will have to wait their turn to get the vaccine like everyone else.
“Our job as a health department is to vaccinate as many people as possible, as fast as possible,” Pino explained, in keeping with modified CDC guidelines being enforced by Gov. Ron DeSantis and Florida’s Department of Health.
Florida has already vaccinated approximately 42 percent of its 4.4 million seniors. The state is also distributing the vaccine to healthcare workers and those with existing health conditions at increased risk. But because of the high demand, Pino stressed that agencies must be vigilant against ineligible people “faking it” before the most vulnerable populations have been protected.