No appointments are necessary for the walk-up site which saw lines form early. Most people said the operation ran smoothly.READ MORE: South Dade NAACP President Dwight Bullard Says Derek Chauvin Being Found Guilty ‘A Glimmer Of Hope’ But Fight Isn’t Over
“I always stayed home,” said Gian Luta, 18-year-old. Luta, has a medical health condition. He said he had been long awaiting his turn.
“Now that I have it, I can feel a bit more relieved leaving my home,” said Luta.
Luta wasn’t the only one who felt grateful.
“My daughter has down syndrome and finally got a vaccination,” said Maria Acosta.
However, many were eager and anxious to get their shot. A line of cars wrapped around the Miami-Dade North Campus Site
“I waited for about an hour and 15 minutes,” said Terry Canales.
Canales got in line after she heard that FEMA had announced for the time being, that they would accept a doctor’s note signed by the patients’ physician, provided you are under 65 years of age with a medical condition.
The change came on Friday afternoon, before that, FEMA had required a Department of Health Form.
“It is preferred that you have the Department of Health Form printed out and signed by your health care provider. However, for the time being, to say it again, we will accept a doctor’s note and not just at this site, but at the other sites where the medical exception criteria people can go to,” said Mike Jachles with the Florida Division of Emergency Management.
If you are planning on going to get your vaccine over the weekend, Jachles said they expect teachers, school staff and employees.
“Plan and bring a little bit of patience,” said Jachles.
Another change, Governor Ron DeSantis said on Friday the age of eligibility for the coronavirus vaccine will be lowered ‘sometime in March.’
“The next change is going to be lowering the age from 65 down to either 60 or 55, most likely will do 60, and then we’ll do the next week, 55. So stay tuned,” said Desantis.
Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella and other elected and community leaders visited the site on Friday to spread the word about expanded vaccine availability and encourage eligible community members to get vaccinated.
“My message is to the entire community, the vaccine is proven to be safe and effective, and taking it is the fastest way to protect yourself, your loved ones, our entire community, and get this pandemic behind us,” said Levine Cava.READ MORE: ‘I’m Speechless’: Rep. Frederica Wilson Among South Florida Leaders Who Believe Justice Was Served In Derek Chauvin Trial
Watch CBS4’s Bobeth Yates earlier report:
Mayor Levine also announced a new effort called VacNow – Vaccine Accessibility for Community Safety. It’s a team of people that will be going door to door to make sure people have the information and can be signed up for appointments.
“The reason we don’t see polio, the reason we don’t see mumps, the reason we don’t see measles, the reason we don’t see many illnesses is because of vaccines,” said Grace Koch.
Koch, a nurse for more than 30 years, was there to get her shot.
“Today we’re going to take care of this vaccine for this generation because that’s what our generation needs to do for the future,” she said.
The MDC site was strategically placed in a minority community in hopes of encouraging those hardest hit by the pandemic to get vaccinated.
Dion Maclin was among those who took advantage of the opportunity. He said while there is distrust in the African American community, he chose to move forward.
“We can think about the history and think about what happened in the past but sometimes we have to forget about that and think about what’s going on for the future. Right now it’s very important, at least get the vaccine and let’s go forward,” he said.
Maclin said that includes following the science that the vaccine works
“Let’s all get healthy, stay healthy, we can do far more in the community by being alive than worried about death and death in our families,” he said.
Three thousand shots a day will be available at the MDC site which operates from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
On Thursday, the second day of operation of the site, 2,800 vaccinations were administered, of which 1,112 were the Johnson and Johnson single-dose vaccine.
“There are no vaccines left over. That is a common misconception. We have the allotment, there is a lot of behind-the-scenes logistics when we are moving vaccines from one site to another. So by mid-day if one site appears to be underperforming, we will take those vaccines and make sure that they are deployed to another site” said Mike Jachles with the Florida Division of Emergency Management
There are also two smaller FEMA-funded clinics with about 500 shots a day each.
One is in Sweetwater at 250 SW 114th Avenue, the other is in Florida City at 650 NW 5th Avenue. No appointments are needed at either of these sites which are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.MORE NEWS: Florida Senate Eyes Social Media Crackdown
On Thursday, the Sweetwater site administered 298 shots while the Florida City site administered 197 shots.