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Families of long term care patients are eager for COVID-19 vaccine

Mary Daniel is hopeful that this could be the ticket out of her husband's' prison.'

TAMPA, Fla. — As soon as the FDA approves Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, shipments will be out the door.

Governor Ron DeSantis announced that the first shipment to Florida will include 179,400 doses.

The majority of those, 97,500, will go to hospitals to vaccinate healthcare workers. That includes Tampa General.

The other 81,900 doses are being set aside for long-term care facilities. CVS, Walgreens, and the Department of Health will administer the shots.

For families with loved ones in long term care facilities, vaccination day cannot come soon enough.

"I want him to have the freedom that he's always had. And right now he doesn't. Right now he's a prisoner in that facility. And he doesn't have a lot of time left," Mary Daniel said. Her husband, Steve, has been in a long term care facility, following a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. 

Daniel wants to make the most of whatever time she has left with her husband, which is why she was eager to have him vaccinated. She says he will be one of the first people vaccinated, once everything is approved and shipped.

"This is really, this is our only hope. I don't know if we don't do this. And if Steve doesn't participate in this, I don't know when or if he'll ever have that freedom back again," Daniel said. "And I'm just not willing to give that up so freely."

When Daniel herself is given the chance to get a vaccine, she plans to take it.

"I also want to be free to go into the facility and not have to worry about me bringing in into other people who, who may decide not to do it." She also wants to get vaccinated to be closer to her husband.

"The point of this is to get back. I mean, I haven't given him a kiss on the lips, you know, I want to kiss my husband. I don't want to kiss him with my mask on," Daniel said.

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