Snowbirds that winter in Florida will be vaccinated starting today, well ahead of Quebecers who refused to cross the border this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Residents of Century Village in Deerfield Beach, located north of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, can get vaccinated today. Many Quebecers usually live there during the winter and those 65 and over will be entitled to it.
Ginette Cyr, who manages the website of the Alliance francophone pour le Century Village East, translates the information concerning the distribution of the vaccine into French and confirms that Quebecers are part of the vaccination campaign.
“I inform the people who are there of the procedures,” she said.
Like many residents, Mme Cyr, however, decided not to cross the border due to the pandemic, as recommended by Canadian authorities.
To obtain the vaccine, eligible snowbirds had to pre-register. Proof of residence is also required.
Residents will receive the Moderna vaccine, which will be administered at the private “Club”.
The Century Village estimates that nearly 500 people per day will be vaccinated. The vaccine is free and if there is an administration fee, insurance covers them.
At 79, Émile Larochelle lives six months a year in the private residential neighborhood of Quailridge, in Boynton Beach.
The neighborhood in which 900 people live and where there are two golf courses is protected by a security fence.
Recently, the ward management sent a letter to all residents informing them that they will all be vaccinated.
“They informed us that they were going to administer the vaccine on site and that it would include everyone, including Quebecers,” explains Émile Larochelle.
About 250 Quebeckers live there during the winter, but only half have traveled this year, says Larochelle, who plays golf five days a week.
“We are advised not to have any guests. The only time I leave the village is to go to my market once a week, ”he said, adding that wearing a mask is compulsory at all times in public places.
He admits that he probably would have waited longer to receive the vaccine if he had stayed in Quebec.
Just before Christmas, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said people 65 and over would be prioritized for vaccine distribution, though he didn’t say whether snowbirds from outside the country were eligible.