MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Jackson Health is now focused on offering current patients, who are 65 and older, a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. It’ll start taking appointments for non-patients on an online system, starting next week. The senior will then get a callback.
Most South Florida seniors are still waiting and wondering. The governor left the public distribution efforts up to hospitals and counties.
Broward Health Medical Center will begin vaccinating seniors 65 and older Wednesday. But the demand was so great for an appointment, the phone system crashed Tuesday. The hospital even turned away people who tried to show up in-person.
“Having a schedule allows us to have a very methodical way of getting people in for their immunizations,” Dr. Also Calvo said. “We finally have hope in the form of a vial. A vaccine called Moderna.”
Concrete plans to relieve the demand are still unclear. However, County Mayor Steve Geller says it’s possible Florida Department of Health Broward will set up a drive-thru site this weekend.
“They’re about to be starting, hopefully as early as this Sunday, vaccinations at a drive-thru pod located at Broward Central Park,” the mayor said.
Heading south, Mount Sinai Medical Center continues to be swarmed with calls for appointments for people 75 and older.
Florida Department of Health Miami-Dade hasn’t released its plans for people older than 65. But it’s likely an appointment will be needed ahead of the first dose.
“I think the one generation that has done so much for society is those that are over 65 years old. We need to protect them. I think they’re a vulnerable group of individuals when it comes to COVID-19,” State Rep. Daniel Perez said.
Perez represents Doral and neighboring communities south of the city. The latest data shows 30,000 residents 65 and older live in his district.
“As quick as we can get these vaccines to the state of Florida, we are going to do so. We are seeing that. The availability of this vaccine is being shown in the numbers of those actually taking it,” he said.
Numbers as of Tuesday show close to 150,000 people statewide have received the first dose. That’s just a fraction of the 750,000 to a million doses expected to be here Florida this month.
Wednesday marks a week since Gov. Ron DeSantis gave the go-ahead for seniors to get the vaccine ahead of essential workers. But most seniors are still waiting on when and where they can go to get the vaccine.