COVID vaccines available to those under 65 deemed ‘extremely vulnerable,’ but who’s included?

ORLANDO, Fla. — AdventHealth has started vaccinating people under the age of 65 who have been deemed “extremely vulnerable” to COVID-19.

They released a list Wednesday outlining the applicable conditions that would qualify a person for the shot.

READ: AdventHealth is considering people with these conditions ‘extremely vulnerable,’ eligible for COVID-19 vaccine

AdventhHealth says they used guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to craft their list.

However, the state is allowing different hospitals to form their own lists, leading to some confusion.

Curt Bigelow is a Type-two diabetic who says the lists should all be the same.

“If I had the choice of winning one of those two lotteries that were close to a billion dollars, or getting a vaccine, I would much rather get the vaccine.”

Bigelow is 59 years old and also suffers from coronary heart disease.

The CDC says Bigelow is at an increased risk for severe COVID-19 infection because of his underlying medical conditions.

READ: Advocates lobby for seniors with disabilities to have easier access to COVID-19 vaccine

However, the call Bigelow expected from his doctor at AdventHealth to set up an appointment never came.

That’s because the AdventHealth list doesn’t include Type-two diabetes or coronary heart disease in its list of underlying medical conditions that make a person extremely vulnerable.

The list does include patients with solid organ or bone marrow transplants, cancer patients undergoing active treatment, patients with cystic fibrosis or sickle cell disease, or adults with down syndrome.

Jared Moskowitz, Director of Florida’s Division of Emergency Management, says they let the hospitals craft their own lists because they didn’t want the government making those choices.

“We want medical providers to decide that,” Moskowitz says. “We don’t want government to pick winners and losers and whose comorbidity is worse than the next.”

Meanwhile, Curt Bigelow says he just wishes everyone would get on the same page.

READ: Orlando Health says 90% of its doctors have received COVID-19 vaccine

“So that people know where they stand. That’s half the problem. That’s the stressor that’s in there, because you just don’t know when your time is going to come up.”

AdventHealth has said it wants to include other conditions on its list, but that’s dependent on whether they get more doses of the vaccine.

They’ve already administered the 500 doses earmarked by the state, but haven’t said when or even if they might get more.