Florida’s blind spot in the vaccine

But DeSantis’ promise has a blind spot, say some domestic workers who care for vulnerable seniors in their homes. Home health workers have fought with seniors and the state for the same vaccination spots on the same jammed websites and phone lines.

“It’s awful. It’s awful,” Stephaney Hyman-McDonald, a domestic worker, told CNN. “It puts you in a difficult position because you are younger, yes, but you are working with someone who needs protection.”

Tending to a senior battling cancer, Hyman-McDonald says she has to compete with seniors in her community, including her mother, for a vaccine appointment. Though she was lucky enough to get a spot for the first dose on Friday, the performance generated conflicting emotions because she didn’t want to take a vaccine that could have been given to a senior.

“We hear about this topic every day and from all over Florida,” said Kyle Simon, director of government affairs and communications Home Care Association of Florida, an industrial trading group.

Simon says that on paper health workers, which include home health workers, are a priority group in practice. In practice, interpretations of the governor’s decree on the Covid-19 vaccine, issued on December 23, differed from district to district and resulted in domestic workers being turned away at vaccination centers.