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For Immediate Release

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UWD Staff

Ron DeSantis: With Millions of Lives on the Line, Vaccine Access Must Be Made Easier For Everyone!

Contact: José Alonso Muñoz | jose@unitedwedream.org | 202.810.0746

Miami, Fla. – Today, Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees signed into action a statewide emergency public health advisory requiring proof of state residency for anyone receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. To prove Florida residency, the advisory requires individuals show a valid Florida driver’s license or photo identification, a utility bill with their name and Florida address listed, or documents detailing a part-time rental agreement in the state.

State law gives law enforcement full authority over enforcing the advisory, while allowing county public health officials to determine how the advisory will be implemented. Immigrant youth are demanding Florida makes the COVID-19 vaccine accessible to all.

Thomas Kennedy, Florida State Coordinator of United We Dream, said:

“We must be working to make it easier, not harder, for as many people as possible to access the COVID-19 vaccine. The statewide advisory is a cruel and deliberate barrier for many Florida residents, including some undocumented immigrants and people who lack access to housing, from being able to access the vital COVID-19 vaccine. 

Due to Governor DeSantis’ mismanagement of the pandemic, Florida has one of the highest COVID-19 death rates in the country, with over 33,600 people dead and over 2.1 million reported cases. Now, as state hospitals remain crippled by the growing number of COVID-19 patients and residents struggle to make ends meet, this advisory only works to further delay Florida’s recovery from this pandemic. 

Access to the COVID-19 vaccine must be available to everyone across the country, regardless of where they live or their immigration status. Any restrictions put in place to bar access is a calculated move to put millions of more lives on the line. This is also a perfect example of the need for local governments to provide community identification for undocumented residents and people without homes.”

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United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation, a powerful network made up of over 800,000 members, over 100 local groups and a reach of over 5 million per month. UWD’s vision is to build a multi-racial, multi-ethnic movement of young people who organize and advocate at the local and national levels for the dignity and justice of immigrants and communities of color in the United States.

Topic(s):Florida