FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) — The coronavirus test site at Holiday Park has been closed so a COVID-19 vaccine administration site can be set up.
The cities of Fort Lauderdale, Oakland Park, Pompano Beach, and Wilton Manors are working together to establish the site. It will be operated by the Florida Department of Health in Broward.
City Manager Chris Lagerbloom told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that he expected the Holiday Park site to open on Tuesday and be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.
“The Department of health came to us and said they had the vaccine and the capability of overseeing the site and they just needed a labor component to do the vaccine and make sure the site runs smoothly.
If you are 65 and older come here and be vaccinated. I hope this is where we turn the corner to get the vaccine for those 65 and older who have a higher likelihood of effects from the coronavirus. I hope to look forward to help seniors get started on this process.”
Lagerbloom said, “I remember last year on March 15th when we closed spring break and said go home. I never would have thought on the first of the year we would still be talking about the coronavirus. But I think it’s a great corner we are turning now that we have the vaccine and we are excited to get it. We have been down long enough and it is time to turn that corner and get back to normal.”
People around Broward told D’Oench they were excited about an expansion of sites for vaccinating those 65 and older.
On Las Olas Boulevard, Danny Orans and his wife Susanne, who are both 80, said they were eager to get vaccinated.
“I want to get protected,” said Susanne Orans emphatically. “We are 80 years old and we can’t get the vaccine until March. It is absurd.”
Danny Orans, who was also wearing a face mask as he spoke with CBS4, said “I have to be quick since I don’t want to be standing here for too long but I will say I am eager to be vaccinated. I want to see my grandchildren. I want to see my great-grandchildren.”
Rob Leonard of Delray Beach said he feels strongly that people in that age group should be vaccinated.
“I think people in my age group are more susceptible and should pay close attention to what’s going on around them and I see no reason why they should not get the vaccine. I lost my younger brother at 53 years old from COVID on December 13th. I am very happy to put the year 2020 in the rear-view mirror.”
Sitting outside a restaurant on Fort Lauderdale restaurant with his dog, 63-year-old Barry Molloy wishes he was able to take advantage of the vaccine site at Holiday Park. “I am just sick of living my life this way.
I just don’t want to live like this anymore, hibernating and afraid of going out to restaurants. This has been long enough and I want to see this come to an end.”
People 65 and older will be eligible for the vaccinations, which will be by appointment only.
Appointments can be made at /browardcovidvaccine.com.
However, after the website launched this week, it saw record-level activity and has been temporarily taken down. The state health department said it will send out a notice when it is restored.
Appointments cannot be made by phone.
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The Florida Department of Health in Broward is set to begin offering vaccinations this weekend at two other parks.
The vaccinations will begin Sunday, January 3rd, at Tradewinds Park, 3600 W Sample Road in Coconut Creek, and at Vista View Park, 4001 SW 142nd Avenue in Davie.
They will also be available at Markham Park, 16001 W State Road 84 in Sunrise, beginning Tuesday, January 5th.
The vaccinations will be available at no cost to people who have already made appointments.
“We are excited about the opportunity to begin vaccinating our senior population, who are disproportionately affected by COVID-19, as we continue to work every day to protect our community during this pandemic,” said Dr. Paula Thaqi, Director of the Florida Department of Health in Broward County.
Individuals who receive a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will need to be in Broward County to receive the second dose of the same vaccine, 21 days later.
The Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade say they plan to finalize their plans by week’s end or early next week on vaccinating those 65 and older.
For those wanting a COVID-19 test, the Mills Pond Park test site is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.
The site is closed on New Year’s Day.
PCR (molecular) testing is offered at the drive-thru site and no appointment is needed.
The state’s health department has a COVID-19 Call Center that can be contacted 24/7 at 866-779-6121 or by email at COVIDemail@example.com.