Central Florida health officials share how they make sure only people eligible receive COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine is available to people 65 and older and healthcare workers

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – Footage released by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office shows two women accused of posing as grannies to get a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The clip has gone viral.

On Wednesday morning, deputies responded to a report of two women who attempted to fraudulently get vaccinated at the Orange County Convention Center. The incident has sparked questions about how the 34-year-old and 44-year-old women nearly pulled off the crafty scheme.

News 6 reached out to all the health officials in Central Florida for reaction to the incident. Alan Harris, with the Seminole County Emergency Management, said it is an unanticipated problem.

“It’s a shame that these people dressed up, that is malicious in nature,” Harris said.

The sheriff’s office said suspicions arose when the women’s birthdates didn’t match. County health officials told News 6 identification clearance is required before anyone gets a vaccine, but Harris said errors can still happen.

“There have been mistakes, it’s a shame. But doing thousands of people a day. Someone may have forgotten to look at a driver’s license, two people in a row, that is a little bit more challenging,” Harris said.

Orange County health officials believe the women have already received their first dose and said they are working to determine where, how, and who administered the vaccine. However, Harris said he can see how vaccine demand is sparking brazen attempts to get a shot in the arm.

“Dealing with a thousand people a day, teachers understand this, anyone that does things repetitively, people that check-in at a hotel those types of things that you repetitively do things over and over and over again, you may slip up one time,” Harris said.

Right now COVID-19 doses are reserved for seniors 65 and older and health care workers. Harris said vaccinators will continue to provide for that priority group.

“Those individuals that come in and think that they are going to beat the system, it’s not going to happen,” Harris said.

About the Author:

Nicky Zizaza is an Emmy-nominated reporter who joined the News 6 nightside team in December 2018. She is originally from Rwanda and she started her journalism career in the nation's capital.