High-risk patients at AdventHealth get coronavirus vaccine

Health First in Brevard County also targeting patients at high-risk from COVID-19

AdventHealth started giving doses of a COVID-19 vaccine to some patients considered to be at high-risk from the coronavirus. Hospital officials made the announcement on Monday and said they received 500 doses for the group.

“We reached out to them individually and said you have this opportunity to get this vaccine,” Dr. Scott Brady with AdventHealth said.

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Jamie Martin, 55, was able to get his vaccination on Tuesday. Martin is a liver transplant recipient and he’s been very careful about his health during the pandemic.

“One of the biggest things for me is was always to make sure and still to make sure that I am not getting sick. I can’t even get an average cold. I can’t get the flu I have to be extremely careful just as all of our transplant recipients,” Martin said.

Martin said he got the news about getting the vaccine through an email from AdventHealth and right away he was able to sign up for an appointment.

“It’s such a gift to be able to do it and the best part is the fact that the more I take care of myself, the better I feel,” he said.

Martin is hoping getting vaccinated will serve as an example for other patients with serious health issues.

“I always like to be an example being a transplant recipient because I can show people that there are choices you can make. There are things you can do in your life to make yourself better and this is one of them,” Martin said.

State Rep. Carlos Smith of Orlando said many high-risk patients could not get answers from the state or hospitals on when they would be eligible to get a vaccination.

“I think people would be less frustrated even if they weren’t eligible, but that they understood what that eligibility process was so they can have some hope about when the vaccine will be eligible to them finally,” he said.

Health First in Brevard County said it will also begin to administer the Moderna vaccine to several patients under 65 who are considered high-risk.

They released this statement on Tuesday:

“Health First received 1,000 first doses of the Moderna Vaccine from the Agency for Health Care Administration (ACHA) with directive these vaccines should be used to serve medically vulnerable individuals under the age of 65 per Executive Order 20-315. We are working with AHCA now to finalize the criteria to administer these vaccines according to the Executive Order.”

About the Author:

Ezzy Castro is a multimedia journalist on News 6's morning team who has a passion for telling the stories of the people in the Central Florida community. Ezzy worked at WFOR CBS4 in South Florida and KBMT in Beaumont, Texas, where she covered Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Being from Miami, Ezzy loves Cuban coffee and croquetas!