MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The first federal vaccination site in Miami-Dade is now open and it is among the first in the nation to administer the Johnson & Johnson single dose COVID-19 vaccine.
Located on Miami-Dade College‘s North Campus at 11380 NW 27th Avenue in Miami, it is one of four new federal vaccination sites statewide.READ MORE: South Dade NAACP President Dwight Bullard Says Derek Chauvin Being Found Guilty ‘A Glimmer Of Hope’ But Fight Isn’t Over
“There’s going to be a steady stream of vaccines available at the site,” said Fermin Vazquez, interim campus president. “We are going to start with about 2,000 vaccines. We are going to kick it up to 3,000, with an addition of 1,000 in the community. In about three weeks, we should be at 5,000 vaccines we have in our supply right here at the North Campus.”
The federally funded, state-run site will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week.
“It means a whole lot less worry about contracting the virus,” said Ceresta Smith, who waited in line on Wednesday to get her single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Smith is a former teacher who retired in December 2020 after 31 years of teaching over worries about going back into schools during the pandemic. “If I do want to go back to substitute teaching and what not, I’ll now be comfortable doing so,” she said.
On Wednesday morning, the site in Northwest Dade had about 250 doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine and roughly 3,000 doses of the Pfizer shot.
“I think a lot of people don’t like shots anyways, so just having the one-shot, they’re ready to rock and roll and they’re anxious to get here,” said Bruce Roberts with the Florida Division of Emergency Management.READ MORE: ‘I’m Speechless’: Rep. Frederica Wilson Among South Florida Leaders Who Believe Justice Was Served In Derek Chauvin Trial
Appointments are not required, but people can pre-register for their shot by heading to myvaccine.fl.gov.
Because the site is a walk-up site, cars are also not required. Staff at the vaccination site do have golf carts available for those unable to walk from their parked cars to the air-conditioned vaccination tent.
“Some people use a lot of public transportation and it’s going to be easier for them to reach this center,” said Dr. Dadilia Garces with the Miami-Dade College.
This comes as Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Monday expanded vaccine eligibility to include law enforcement, firefighters, teachers and school employees over the age of 50.
“Inclusive of bus drivers and bus aides and custodial staff, alongside our brave teachers will be prioritized for vaccination,” Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho announced.
Jackson Health System is making appointments available for that group, as well as an expended pool of people with pre-existing conditions.MORE NEWS: Florida Senate Eyes Social Media Crackdown
“Anyone age 50 and older, with a signed doctor’s note on the physician’s letter head or prescription pad, listing the patient’s name, any specific high risk condition for which the patient is being treated and a recommendation that the patient be vaccinated,” explained Carlos Migoya, CEO of Jackson Health System.