‘A shameless practice’: Ashley Moody laments ‘vaccine tourism’ in Florida

ashley moody
'This is truly life and death for seniors.'

Attorney General Ashley Moody on Friday defended Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ decision to limit Florida’s COVID-19 vaccine supply to Sunshine State residents.

Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees issued new guidelines on Thursday, requiring vaccine-seekers to provide proof of permanent or seasonal-residence.

Those guidelines come after an unknown number of vaccine-seekers have reportedly traveled to Florida solely to receive a vaccine — a practice described by some as “vaccine tourism.”

Notably, Florida’s vaccine eligibility is broader than elsewhere. Vaccines in Florida are available to those 65 and older, long-term care residents, health care personnel and people considered highly vulnerable to the virus.

“This is truly life and death for seniors,” Moody said on FOX News. “But there’s a limited supply given to each state, and our Governor is charged with the responsibility of protecting Floridians, our residents, full-time and part-time.”

Moody stopped short of threatening prosecution or consequences during the interview. She described vaccine tourism, however, as a “shameless practice.”

Florida, meanwhile, is in its sixth week of vaccine rollout.

Earlier this month, DeSantis noted that vaccine registration hotlines have received calls from foreigners and out-of-staters.

Alternatively, the Governor also noted that snowbirds pay Florida taxes, use state medical services and stay months at a time.

The position garnered considerable criticism.

“We’re a transient state,” DeSantis contended. “You’ll have people that will be here and it’s not like they’re just on vacation for two weeks.”

Last week, Rivkees told a Senate panel that 97% of the state’s vaccine supply has gone to Floridians. Later, Division of Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz described vaccine tourism as “abhorrent.”

Florida has administered more than 1.3 million COVID-19 vaccines as of Friday. Of those, only 139,245 vaccine recipients have completed the two-dose series.

Among other issues is a nationally sluggish COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

DeSantis on Friday said the state is ready and waiting for more federal supplies.

“I’m confident we’re going to be able to move a heck of a lot of vaccines if we get it,” DeSantis said.

Jason Delgado

Jason Delgado covers news out of the state capital for Florida Politics. After a stint with the U.S. Army, Jason attended the University of Central Florida where he studied American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. Throw him a line at [email protected] or on Twitter at @JasonDelgadoFL.


  • Palmer Tom

    January 22, 2021 at 6:23 pm

    Does anyone know how much “vaccine tourism” exists anyway? The real issue was the vaccine shortage by Trump’s premature rollout.

  • Sonja Fitch

    January 23, 2021 at 6:25 am

    Of course the ag that
    Aided and abetted the January 6, 2021 insurrection against the United States is shameless! Get out! Vote Florida Democrat Blue in 2022!

  • Ron Ogden

    January 24, 2021 at 8:30 am

    Wait a minute. I thought that the “woke” left is all in favor of people crossing borders to get the benefits they can’t get at home. Ah! I see. That applies to people coming from the Central American jungles to get US food stamps, not people coming from Pittsburgh to get vaccinated in Florida. That’s lefty logic for you.

  • Sonja Fitch

    January 24, 2021 at 12:55 pm

    Ron are you drunk?

  • James Robert Miles

    January 25, 2021 at 4:13 pm

    Ron apparently drinks or uses drugs daily. Just another right-wing Nazi who pulls stuff out of his butt hole!!

Comments are closed.


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