MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava held a virtual press conference on Tuesday afternoon, along with local leaders, to provide an update on COVID-19 vaccination plans in Miami-Dade County.
The mayor talked about shared efforts to distribute vaccines across the community for healthcare workers and seniors age 65 and older.
“We are truly in an emergency situation. We are all hands on deck to distribute these vaccines as quickly as possible to those who need it most,” said Cava.
“Our goal is to distribute thousands of vaccines every week,” she added. “We ask for your patience while we work to vaccinate the elderly in our community as soon as possible.”
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said, “If we are not able to vaccinate at a rate that is sufficient, then we will continue to see loss of life.”
“This has become a tragic exercise in math,” referring to COVID numbers, Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said, “We have more cases than several states. We need more vaccines.”
Jackson Health System President and CEO Carlos A. Migoya said they are already vaccinating 2,000 people per day.
County officials said that they are coordinating closely with public and private partners, including local cities, to quickly and efficiently vaccinate Miami-Dade’s vulnerable residents, according to state guidelines.
There are big plans in Miami-Dade to have more than 60% of seniors 65 and older vaccinated by sometime in February. That’s if the number of doses in shipments greatly increase.
“In a 3-, 4-week period, we could get 250,000 to 300,000 people over 65,” Migoya said. “We could potentially vaccinate 1.2 million people in Miami-Dade County by the end of April,”
But it may be tough for some to see this because of current numbers.
Miami-Dade Mayor Levine Cava knows many seniors are frustrated and waiting.
“The demand is much greater than the supply currently available. So, please know we are doing everything in our power to distribute these vaccines safely and efficiently,” the county mayor said.
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said his city is ready to distribute the vaccine. But he just needs the supply. He’s concerned that already not enough vaccine in South Florida as cases climb.
“We need the vaccine. We need it delivered like people’s lives depend on it. So, please let’s get the vaccine here. Let’s get it in an amount that makes sense,” Mayor Gelber said.
Demand is so high, on Tuesday, Jackson Health filled all available 14,000 appointments for the week.
Those participating in Zoom conference meeting were:
Jackson Health System President and CEO Carlos A. Migoya
Baptist Health South Florida COO and Executive Vice President Bo Boulenger
Mount Sinai Medical Center President and CEO Steven Sonenreich
Administrator/Health Officer for the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County Dr. Yesenia D. Villalta
City of Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber
City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez
Click here to get the latest on the coronavirus vaccine distribution in the county.