By Jessica Vallejo

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – On Friday, Miami-Dade commissioners were handed a total of 1,300 vaccine slots to fill by county hospitals.

“We are trying to sign up as many Florida residents as we can who are 65 and older.”
Carlos Migoya, the head of Jackson Health, says each commissioner’s chief of staff would receive a form with 100 vaccine slots to fill.

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But he expressed that may not be enough.

“I do know several hospitals have not been given continued vaccines, but I know for a fact that we received this week and we will receive again next week,” Migoya added.

Both Mt. Sinai Medical Center and Baptist Hospital announced this week they suspended their COVID vaccine appointments due to vaccine constraints.

Commissioner Eileen Higgins questioned why should commissioners be in charge of deciding who gets access to the limited supplies and she expressed there is still no clarity.

“It’s confusing to me and to our residents. So, perhaps mayor, as you and your team talk to the states emergency management get clarity around whether all hospitals are being cut out of this in the future or will Jackson continue to be the main one?”

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cave responded to Higgins:

“What our executive order does is provides the county with advance notice of all the distributions and to avoid the confusion.”

Meanwhile, earlier Friday in Key Largo, Governor Ron DeSantis says there is no question that progress is being made in vaccinating those 65 and older.

But DeSantis spoke out on the same day that some state lawmakers urged him to improve the statewide distribution of vaccines.

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“We really believe in a few more days as reports come in we will actually cross the 1 million mark for those 65 and older who have gotten their shots in Florida. That is leading the nation by a country mile,” said DeSantis.

DeSantis made a plea to the federal government:

“Get us more vaccines. We will use it well and a lot of seniors would be very happy if we are able to do that,” he added.

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“We got 266,000 doses in the street now. We’re going to get 266,000 in the next week’s shipment.”

DeSantis had asked for more doses at the end of the Trump administration.

The governor says the state is stepping up plans to distribute vaccines to pharmacies.

“We’ve identified Walmart, Winn Dixie, and Publix to receive those. It could be tens of thousands maybe more than that.”

As South Florida adds vaccination sites like Jackson Health System’s North Dade Health Center, 70-year-old Shirley Kemp is grateful to get her first shot.

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“I am thankful to God that they have it for the ones who need it who have so many problems in their lives,” said Kemp.

Jessica Vallejo