MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Big changes are happening in Florida’s race to vaccinate.
On Monday, March 29th, Floridians 40 and older became eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. There are roughly two and a half million people between the ages of 40 and 49 in the state.READ MORE: Retired Police Major Explains How Miami-Dade Officers Are Trained Not To Mix Up Handgun & Taser
“We’ve been trying, just waiting our turn,” said Edwin Deneen, 46.
He and Kristen McCallion got their first doses at Miami-Dade College’s North Campus on Monday morning.
“I feel good, it’s emotional,” McCallion said. “All of these people are here for the same purpose and we’re saving lives and the planet. It’s incredible.”
The federally funded, state-run site in Northwest Miami-Dade was busy on Monday. By 9:15 a.m, doctors and nurses at the site had administered more than 1,100 doses.
“We’re going to have a busy couple of weeks here. We are prepared for it,” said Mike Jachles, a spokesperson for the site.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
“The line was a little bit long in the car, but everything was fast,” said Olga Perrera who received her second dose of the Pfizer vaccine on Monday.
The site was originally supposed to close on April 28th but will now remain open until May 26th.
Beginning next Monday, April 5th, the vaccine will be available to those 18 and older.
There’s an underlying assumption that millennials are less willing to be vaccinated and that could put a kink in the chain of events to return to normal. How quickly we get back to normal depends on enough people getting vaccinated, according to Dr. Corey Frederick, an infectious disease pharmacist at Memorial Regional Hospital.
“That’s what’s going to make things open back up again and be in a state of a pre-COVID life. We want things to go back to being normal, it’s going to take everyone doing their part, being vaccinated, to protect everyone in the community,” he said.
Floridians interested in getting vaccinated are encouraged to pre-register by calling: 866-201-6313, or 844-252-2003 for TTY users. Pre-registration can also be done by going to myvaccine.fl.gov. Once pre-registered, they’ll be contacted when the vaccine is available in their area.MORE NEWS: 'Bed Tax' Change Backed In Florida House
Vaccines are also available at these locations.