Broward Health has begun offering the COVID-19 vaccine to at-risk people 18 and over, the only hospital in South Florida to publicly expand vaccine eligibility to this younger group with certain medical conditions.
On Friday, the health system began accepting appointments for this new group of people, but it quickly filled up, Broward Health Spokeswoman Jennifer Smith said. There is no timeframe for when new appointments will open again, but next week is a possibility.
Those 18 and over who wish to get a vaccine must fall under one of these high-risk groups:
▪ Asthma (moderate to severe)
▪ Cerebrovascular Disease
▪ Chronic Kidney Disease
▪ Cystic Fibrosis
▪ Down Syndrome
▪ Heart conditions (such as heart failure, coronary artery diseases or cardiomyopathies)
▪ Hypertension or high blood pressure
▪ Immunocompromised state from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids or use of weakening medicines or solid organ transplant
▪ Liver Disease
▪ Neurological conditions, such as dementia
▪ Overweight or Obese (BMI of greater than 25)
▪ Pulmonary Fibrosis
▪ Sickle Cell Disease
▪ Thalassemia (inherited blood disorder)
▪ Type 1 Diabetes
▪ Type 2 Diabetes
When appointments open again, a consent form must be completed to schedule an appointment for people 18 and over. Broward Health took down the form from the hospital website Friday afternoon.
Broward Health’s ‘at-risk’ conditions are broader than some other hospitals, which also require the designation for vaccination.
Jackson Health requires a doctor’s note to vaccinate those 55 to 65 who have one of Jackson’s stipulated 13 medical conditions. Jackson’s list of conditions does not include Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, which Broward Health does, and Jackson has a higher Body Mass Index threshold than does Broward Health (40 vs 25, respectively).
These added conditions will be advantageous to underserved communities as research has demonstrated that people in these communities are more likely to have medical conditions such as diabetes and obesity, which make them at-risk for severe COVID.