Bay of Pigs invasion veteran Rigoberto Montesinos, 82 gets vaccinated at the Bay of Pigs Museum and Library in the Little Havana on Feb. 8. The North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System is expanding their vaccine eligibility to high-risk veterans under 65. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

High-Risk Veterans Under 65 Qualify For COVID-19 Vaccine


The North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System is expanding COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to include high-risk veterans under 65. 

Veterans under 65 with obesity, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, sickle cell disease, kidney disease, smoking cancer and heart disease now qualify for the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a press release the system issued on Wednesday.

Other qualifications include homeless veterans, hemodialysis patients and chemotherapy patients of any age. Solid organ transplant patients or who are enlisted for transplants also meet the health system’s criteria. 

Veterans who are essential workers such as firefighters, police officers, USPS workers, grocery store workers, public transport workers and educators of any age are also eligible for vaccination. 

In order to get vaccinated, eligible and enrolled veterans must schedule an appointment by calling 352-548-6000, ext. 103755. The health system has two veteran affairs medical centers in Florida, one in Gainesville and another in Lake City. 

If the vaccine is not available at a patient’s preferred site, the health system encourages veterans to set up an appointment at another location. The press release said veterans can also get vaccinated at a drive-thru or walk-up event with no appointment needed while supplies last.

About Melissa Hernandez De La Cruz

Melissa is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing

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