Florida doctors’ offices still haven’t received COVID-19 vaccines for patients

ORLANDO, Fla. — Weeks after Florida announced it was going to put the COVID-19 vaccine in the hands of local physicians, it still hasn’t happened.

Many doctors said they are anxious to be able to give the shot to their own patients.

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One of the governor’s more recent executive orders gave doctors permission to vaccinate their patients, but that permission doesn’t do much when doctors don’t have access to the vaccine yet.

And as of now, they don’t have any idea when they will.

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“The latest report was that we still don’t have enough vaccines for the doctors’ offices,” said Dr. Aftab Khan, internal medicine specialist.

Khan’s office registered with Florida to administer the vaccine as soon as the executive order was issued. He knew at the time they wouldn’t be able to do Moderna or Pfizer in his office.

“Because we don’t have ultra-cold freezers in our office,” Khan said. “But since J&J came, we were very excited because that gave us opportunity to vaccinate our own patients.”

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Khan said there would be a huge benefit to vaccinating his patients, especially since most are seniors and some struggle with smartphones and computers.

“So it is hard for them to make an appointment,” Khan said. “Since they are already having appointment with me, they can come to my office. At the same time, we can vaccinate them. So it is so much (more) convenient for them.”

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The Department of Health couldn’t give Khan’s office an estimate on when they might receive their first doses.

But Khan said the Johnson & Johnson supply is expected to increase in April.

“So we are hoping that by the end of this month, and in April, we will start having or receiving these J&J vaccines in our office,” he said.

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.