FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – After a meeting with all 31 mayors in the county, Broward Mayor Steve Geller said on Thursday he felt the vaccine rollout was going pretty well.
Geller admitted that there have been issues with the state health department’s website and some of the call centers at the hospitals have been overwhelmed, but they were vaccinating at a pretty good pace and have managed to avoid overnight lines like in many other placesREAD MORE: Johnson & Johnson Single-Shot COVID-19 Vaccine Joining In The Fight Against Global Pandemic
Geller said as of Wednesday, 71,169 people in the county have been vaccinated – 61,241 had received their first dose and 9,928 had received both doses.
The mayor said as more people are vaccinated, it is important to remember that the pandemic is not over.
“As predicted, it appears there was about a 20 percent surge in cases following the holidays, but thankfully it hasn’t continued to rise in the time since,” said Geller.
Geller said while the rollout has been slow, he is relying on Gov. Ron DeSantis to help speed things up over the next few weeks.READ MORE: South Florida House Republicans Vote Against President Biden's $1.9 Trillion Pandemic Relief Package
“There’s just not a right or wrong answer. Everybody should be vaccinated right now but it’s not possible to vaccinate everybody right now. We have to make decisions, and by we I mean the governor,” he said.
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During a county commission meeting, the board discussed sending a letter to the Governor to ask him to revise his priorities for who will be receiving the vaccine. The conversation centered around the debate between who should be vaccinated first, the most vulnerable which includes the elderly and people with underlying conditions, or those with the most exposure, like teachers, grocery store employees, and transit workers.
Geller said if they get sufficient amounts of the vaccines from the state, they should be able to vaccinate all seniors who wish to receive the vaccine within six to eight weeks.MORE NEWS: Trump A Dominant Force At Conservative Conference In Orlando
He added that the county is currently in negotiations with the state health department about using leftover CARES funds to substantially increase vaccination capacity, this would provide the ability to expand capacity at existing sites and to open additional sites.