By Joan Murray

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The process of getting a COVID vaccine in South Florida remains a tricky scenario.

CBS 4 was at Holiday Park in Fort Lauderdale Tuesday afternoon and found seniors 65 and older leaving the site reporting they did not need an appointment to get the coveted vaccine.

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Gail Smith said it was like winning the lottery.

After learning from a friend that they were giving vaccines without an appointment, she rushed over to Holiday Park and was successful.

“It was a piece of cake,” a doctor and his wife said about the experience.

They also didn’t have an appointment but showed up at the park and were vaccinated.

However, a spokesperson for the city says it may not always be the case.

Depending on the volume and time, you may need an appointment to get a vaccine at Holiday Park.

It is one more an indicator of the patchwork system in place in South Florida when it comes to vaccine distribution.

CBS4 checked county and hospital vaccine registration websites on Tuesday and found, for the most part, there was no ability to sign up for a first dose if you are 65 and older.

On Tuesday, Broward Health began a new vaccination distribution site at the soccer stadium off Commercial Boulevard

Newly vaccinated, Kathryn Remsen says it will give her a little license to travel.

“I haven’t been away since last March. I’m going to North Florida and that’s a long way for me,” she said.

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Remsen showed her card with a return date for her second dose. Broward Health makes both appointments for the two doses when you schedule.

And that’s true at most Broward locations. You know when your next appointment is scheduled and you do not need to make an appointment for the second shot.


That’s not the case in Miami Dade.

One viewer told CBS4 in an email she got her first dose of the vaccine at Hard Rock Stadium

But leaving, “They gave a date and a card with a code and said to schedule yourself. It is so confusing.”

When we checked with the county, a spokesperson for the mayor said in Miami-Dade, “The county will email or text you when to schedule your next appointment.”

It’s estimated there are one million people in Miami-Dade and Broward who are 65 and older, but as of Tuesday, only a fraction had gotten their first dose of the vaccine.

All told, Miami Dade reports they have given 68,748 first doses of the COVID vaccine. Broward has given 39,717 first doses.

Dr. Aileen Marty, an infectious disease specialist with FIU, said the pace must pick up if there’s any hope of getting back to normal soon.

“The problem is these new variants have led to these new numbers. We need 90% of the population with immunity to this virus before we can really resume back to life, not having to wear a mask,” Dr. Marty said. “These new variants are so much more contagious. And when a virus is more contagious, you need a higher level of herd immunity. Here in Miami Dade only 12% of our population have been vaccinated.”

Seniors aged 65 and above are eligible to be vaccinated at Holiday Park, must make an appointment only through FDOH Broward County’s website at

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Check out other vaccination sites throughout South Florida by clicking here.