By Ty Russell

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – An extra 15,000 doses of Pfizer’s COVID vaccine are headed to Jackson Health System to begin the inoculation of Miami-Dade residents 65 and older.

Jackson’s vaccine roll out will happen in two steps.

  • Step 1: Reach out to patients 65 and older receiving ongoing care at Jackson
  • Step 2: Open an online platform where any Miami-Dade resident 65 or older can request a vaccination appointment

The second step will happen starting next week.

Since a large demand is expected, CBS4’s Ty Russell asked if the technology is ready.

“We are in the middle of finalizing the development of it. We realize what some of the other health systems have had with the crashes or call center issues, etc.,” Jackson Health System COO Don Steigman said.

Starting Monday, seniors 65 and older in Miami-Dade public housing will be offered the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava knows it’s lifesaving information.

“People are desperate. They’re looking to see where do they go, who’s eligible, and how they can get access,” the mayor said.

Seniors, in that age group, who depend on county services and those who are homebound but don’t live in public housing will also be offered the vaccine.

“It’s really important for people to understand that we are all taking care of the elderly and the most vulnerable across the county, first,” the mayor said.

Recent census data estimates close to 17% of the county’s population is made up of seniors older than 65. The mayor expects many to get a vaccine. But she’s worried about those who are younger.

“In the general public, there hasn’t been, yet, the enthusiasm for the vaccine that we see in the 65-plus category,” the mayor said.

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In an effort to ease concerns among Blacks and Latinos, 69-year-old football legend Nat Moore and 67-year-old music producer Emilio Estefan received their first dose at Jackson Memorial Hospital Wednesday.

“We want to bring hope to people. We love the United States. We want to get people back to work and bring hope to a lot of people,” Estefan said.

“Some type of normalcy. Getting back to the way things were. The only way that happens is that we all roll up our sleeves,” Moore said.

So far, Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach is still taking appointments for seniors who are 75 and older.

When it comes to a countywide expansion down the road for seniors, the mayor hopes to avoid drive-thrus.

“With the existing supply there is a plan to deploy that supply without something massive like a drive-thru,” the county mayor said.

For more Miami-Dade COVID-19 vaccine information, click here.

Ty Russell