Central Florida State Rep. hosts community virtual Q & A session on COVID vaccine rollout

ORLANDO, Fla. — Florida State Representative Anna Eskamani held a virtual question and answer session Wednesday on the state’s coronavirus vaccine distribution efforts.

Eskamani was joined by the Director of Florida’s Division of Emergency Management, Jared Moskowitz to field questions.

READ: Florida company accused of steering vaccines to rich donors

LIVE: COVID-19 Vaccine Access Forum with FDEM Director Jared Moskowitz

LIVE: Rep. Eskamani is hosting a COVID-19 information session with Director Jared Moskowitz of the Division of Emergency Management, taking your questions about vaccine access across our state. Join us now and share the stream!

Posted by Representative Anna V. Eskamani on Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Eskamani says the discussion was an opportunity to put politics aside and focus on public health concerns.

“I think a lot of folks assume that, because I’m a Democrat, we don’t work with the executive branch,” Eskamani says. ”That’s very much the contrary. I’m in conversations with different agencies- Republicans and Democrats- who work within the governor’s office every single day.”

Moskowitz responded to concerns that the vaccine rollout plans vary across different counties.

“That is not what the plans call for in a first come, first served concert ticket basis, and that’s not what the division or the Department of Health up here told people to do,” Moskowitz says. “In fact, we shut it down as soon as we were made aware of it, so we’re trying to bring some sense to some of the chaos.”

READ: How COVID-19 progresses; a day-by-day breakdown of symptoms

Moskowitz says the state is also working on a solution to deal with the varying appointment systems across the counties.

“We here at the division are working on propping up a system and a call center which we will roll out statewide next week.”

Moskowitz says it’s hard to know exactly which groups will be next in line to get the shots because the state simply isn’t doing a good job of handling the groups now.

However, Moskowitz says they’re also developing a program to distribute the vaccine to seniors who can’t wait in long lines.

READ: Here’s where to find the COVID-19 vaccine in your county

The Division of Emergency Management is also working to get the vaccine to underserved communities, Moskowitz says.

They’re preparing to give shots to parishioners at churches this weekend, including one in Kissimmee, but they’re not releasing the name of the church because they don’t want lines forming yet.