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Mexican TV host travels to Florida for a day to get COVID vaccine — ahead of US citizens

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How did that happen?

Photo by Adrián Monroy/Medios y Media/Getty Images

Americans have been inundated with stories of fellow citizens wanting to get the COVID-19 vaccination but missing out for one reason or another — whether due to long lines, a lack of supply, or priority lists that don't include them.

So imagine the feeling Florida residents experienced when a popular Mexican television host jetted up to Florida for a day to get the vaccine that most Americans have been forced to wait for.

Juan Jose Origel — who, as the New York Post reported, is known for hosting Mexican daytime shows "Ventaneando" ("Looking Out the Window"), "Hoy" ("Today") and "La Oreja" ("The Ear") — has become a hot topic in the Sunshine State after he revealed on social media over the weekend that he had trekked north to get the shot.

Origel posted a photo of himself Saturday getting a shot in his right arm while sitting in his car at what was apparently a drive-through vaccine location.

The Texas-based, Spanish-language newspaper Al Dia Dallas reported (according to a Google Translate version of the article) that Origel flew to the U.S. over the weekend to get his shot at a vaccination event in Miami.

The host celebrated getting vaccinated in the U.S. and lamented that his own country could not get its vaccination act together.

"Already vaccinated!! Thanks #usa what a shame my country couldn't grant me that security!!!" Origel tweeted in Spanish, according to a translation provided by the Post.

It remains unclear how he made the appointment considering he doesn't live in Florida and was reportedly there for just the day, especially considering that the Florida Department of Health has been clear that vaccine tourism is a no-no.

Department spokesman Jason Mahon told the Wall Street Journal this month that the agency has vowed to investigate misuse of the vaccine.

"It is absolutely not permitted for someone to come into Florida for one day to receive the vaccine and leave the next," he said. "We ask that all suspected incidents be reported to the appropriate county health department immediately."

According to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), tourists are not supposed to be prioritized — and in fact, people have been discouraged from visiting just to get the vaccine.

The governor told the Journal in early January that people who have second homes in Florida or live in the state as part-time residents are "fine" to get vaccinated, but tourists who just fly in for a brief trip to get the shot are not.

"If they have a residence and they're not just kind of flying by night for a week or two, I'm totally fine with that," DeSantis told the Journal. "That's a little bit different than somebody that's just doing tourism and trying to come here. So we're discouraging people to come to Florida just to get a vaccine."

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