MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The federal site at Miami Dade College’s North Campus shut down nearly two hours early Tuesday. It came after a day of lines winding down several blocks.
“We woke up at 5 a.m. and we got here around 5:30,” said Priscilla Arkalji.READ MORE: Retired Police Major Explains How Miami-Dade Officers Are Trained Not To Mix Up Handgun & Taser
By 7 a.m. Tuesday, the lines stretched for blocks with people eager to get a shot.
“It feels great. I feel stronger already,” said David Saadi after receiving a vaccine.
The federally funded, state-run site is supposed to be following the governor’s orders on who can get the vaccine, which includes anyone 65 and older, police officers and firefighters over the age of 50, all teachers and childcare workers, and people 18 and older with medical conditions and a signed note or form from their doctor.
People spoke of wait times of two, four, even six hours to get to the parking lot.
Silvia Zambrano said she was grateful to make it in before the cutoff time.
“You have no idea the relief I feel inside,” she said. “Because my husband and I, we were so worried.”
She brought a doctor’s note with her to get her vaccine.
“We were here before, like two days before, and we couldn’t,” she explained. “But with the note from the doctor, thank God, we did.”
On Tuesday morning, however, some who did not meet those requirements slipped through and were vaccinated. Several people told CBS4’s Brooke Shafer that staff only asked them to show a driver’s license.
“I didn’t have to have a form. I just had to have my I.D. and show them that I’m a resident of Florida and everything,” Torreya Burrows, who was able to get the shot on Tuesday. “My friend asked me if I was going to get the shot. So, I thought I’d give it a try and I made it.”
“They asked for my passport, my proof of residence, and that was it, basically. They asked if I had taken the vaccine before, if I had any allergies, but that was it,” said Saadi, who was not eligible under the state orders.
Marlene Saientz said she did tell them she has a medical condition but didn’t have to show a signed form or doctor’s note.READ MORE: With J&J's Single-Shot Paused, Medical Expert Says People Shouldn’t ‘Try To Skimp At This Stage’ When It Comes To 2nd Dose Of Pfizer Or Moderna
“I was out here around 6:30 a.m., we started the line, the line looked pretty long, we got a little worried,” she said.
Even though staffers appeared to ditch the rules for some people, the demand for the vaccine in South Florida remains high. On Monday, the medical team at the site at Miami-Dade College’s North Campus administered more than 4,000 vaccinations.
“I’m feeling great, blessed,” said John Wise after getting a shot. He said staff only asked to see his driver’s license on Tuesday. “I’m so glad to have it over with.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis announced on Monday that starting next week, on March 15, the vaccination age would be lowered statewide to those 60 and older.
Jackson Health System has also expanded its criteria for vaccinations at its three sites.
As of Tuesday, March 9, Jackson will vaccinate Florida residents in the following categories:
Those ages 16 and 17 who say they have a medical condition. No documentation is needed, but they must have a guardian present.
Those 18 and older who attest to having a high-risk condition. No documentation is needed.
To get vaccinated through Jackson, you need to make an appointment at jacksonhealth.org.
The temporary federal sites in Sweetwater’s Ronselli Park and Florida City’s youth center close after Wednesday.
On Thursday, two new sites will open from March 11-17.
One is in Miami Springs at the Miami Springs Community Center. The other is in North Miami Beach at the Allen Park Community Center.MORE NEWS: 'Bed Tax' Change Backed In Florida House
They will both be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with no appointment needed.