MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) – City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez visited the COVID-19 vaccine distribution site at Marlins Park and discussed his hopes of higher vaccinations as the new administration gets to work.
“At the rate we’re going now, it’s going to take potentially a year or more,” he said.
While visiting the site on Monday morning, Suarez said he has told his team to be prepared for triple or quadruple the increase of vaccine supply from the federal government.
He said it’s what he’s hoping to see with the new administration’s plans.
“I think that’s what it’s going to take to vaccinate the general population at the pace that we want to see it happen in a few months as opposed to extending to 10 months or a year.”
Suarez said the hope is that the city will continue to get 7,000 doses of the vaccine a week.
“We are prepared to do significantly more if we have to,” he said.
Seniors 65 and older waiting in line are required to show their ID and prove they are a Florida resident before getting their shot.
Nancy Robertson made the drive down to the Marlins Park site from Naples with her husband and son.
“I would’ve driven anywhere,” she said.
Robertson was brought to tears thinking about the past year and how happy she was to be in line for her first dose.
“We have a handicapped son, and his program was stopped,” she said. “He has not been anywhere, so we’re just waiting until it rolls out where people with special needs or some other group can be vaccinated.”
One day prior, the Miami-Dade Branch of the NAACP called out to local leaders for outreach to the Black community.
Daniella Pierre, President of the chapter, called for more access, engagement and education.
“For a community that has years of fears and distrust, and rightfully so, instead of just giving us a vaccine, please provide the education so it can lessen the fears that individuals may have,” she said.
At the Hard Rock Stadium vaccination site, close to 20,000 vaccines have been administered to seniors 65 and older since the site opened on Jan. 6.
Hospitalizations have started plateauing across the country and almost every state is reporting a decline in new infections, but public health officials warn new COVID-19 strains could delay progress.
“We need to assume now that what has been circulating dominantly in the UK does have a certain degree of increase in what we call virulence, namely the power of the virus to cause more damage, including death,” said National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Anyone with questions and concerns about the coronavirus can call the Florida Department of Health’s 24-hour hotline at 1-866-779-6121.
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