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

ORLANDO, Fla. — AdventHealth has already administered the 500 COVID-19 vaccine doses it set aside for “extremely vulnerable” members of the population under age 65.

The Florida Department of Health and Division of Emergency Management allocated 28,500 doses this week to 26 hospitals statewide, including AdventHealth, to use for medically vulnerable people.

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Right now, only hospitals can vaccinate people under 65 they deem “extremely vulnerable” to COVID-19, under the governor’s executive order.

On Tuesday, AdventHealth released the list of conditions that result in such vulnerability. Individuals with these conditions may be contacted to receive the vaccine through the hospital system once more doses are acquired.

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Those include:

  • Solid organ transplant and bone marrow transplant patients
  • Cancer patients undergoing active treatment
  • Cystic fibrosis patients
  • Those with Sickle Cell Disease
  • Adults with Down Syndrome

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Hospital officials said most of the people who received the first 500 doses of the vaccine allocated for the vulnerable population were organ transplant patients.

Jessica Heter, who recently got a kidney and pancreas transplant, was one of the 500 people AdventHealth contacted about getting their vaccine.

“This is going to allow my son to be able to go back to school,” she said. “I couldn’t send him because, of course, my immunity.”

As additional vaccine supply becomes available, officials said eligible existing AdventHealth patients who meet the federal criteria will be contacted by AdventHealth with instructions on how to receive their vaccine.

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“People facing critical health issues, such as those waiting for or having just received an organ transplant, could quickly face an even more life-threatening situation should they contract COVID-19,” said Dr. Neil Finkler, chief medical officer at AdventHealth’s Central Florida Division, in a statement. “We are thankful to have been allocated the vaccine supply from the state for this purpose and look forward to a time when there is sufficient supply to vaccinate everyone in our community.”

AdventHealth officials said there are thousands of other people at high-risk for the virus that they hope to be able to open vaccinations to in the future.

“There’s a whole other population that has other risk factors that are under 65 that we would love to vaccinate, as well,” Finkler said. “We’ve estimated in our entire division, that may be as high as 35,000 to 40,000 people.”

Below is a list of the 26 hospitals that have received a portion of the supply from the state intended for people deemed “extremely vulnerable.”

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The five hospitals in bold are located in Central Florida:

Advent Health Orlando

Ascension Sacred Heart – Bay

Ascension Sacred Heart – Emerald Coast

Ascension Sacred Heart – Pensacola

Baptist Medical Center – Jacksonville

Baptist Medical Center – South

Cleveland Clinic Hospital

H. Lee Moffit Cancer Center & Research Institute Hospital

Holmes Regional Medical Center

Holy Cross Hospital

Jupiter Medical Center

Lakeland Regional Medical Center

Lee Memorial Hospital

Mayo Clinic

Memorial Regional Hospital

Morton Plant Hospital

Mount Sinai Medical Center

Nicklaus Children’s Hospital

North Florida Regional Medical Center

Northside Hospital

Orlando Health – Orlando Regional Medical Center

Palm Bay Hospital

St. Joseph’s Hospital – North

Tallahassee Memorial Hospital

UF Health – Shands Hospital

University of Miami Hospital Clinics – UHealth Tower

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Channel 9′s sister station, Action News Jax, contributed to this report.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.

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