Last week, Florida House Speaker Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, promised to move quickly on a bill to protect residents of the Sunshine States from scams “that offer access to vaccines in exchange for exorbitant sums.”
State Rep. Adrian Zika, R-Land O’Lakes, filed a bill to make COVID-19 vaccine scams a felony last week.
“Floridians need to be on the lookout for vaccine scams but these criminals are using very slick, official-looking websites to run their operations,” said Zika. “This legislation puts them on notice and helps protect Floridians from getting scammed.”
Sprowls said he fully supports Zika’s proposal.
“It is a priority of the Florida House to protect Floridians who just want to get a COVID vaccine without being fleeced,” said Sprowls. “As a former state prosecutor, I know all too well how these operators prey on our consumers, and I will make it our mission to end their practice here.”
While the Florida Legislature won’t begin its regular session until March, Zika’s proposal will be before the new Pandemics and Public Emergencies Committee this week.
State Rep. Tom Leek, R-Ormond Beach, the chairman of the committee, sounded ready to back the bill when it goes before him on Thursday.
“The last thing Floridians need during a pandemic is to worry about is being defrauded over a vaccine they think they’re getting. Our job as state legislators is to help ensure that Floridians are getting what they pay for, especially when it comes to their health and well-being,” Leek said.
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody recently issued a consumer alert about COVID-19 vaccination scams.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.