NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) – Thousands of people came to the federal COVID-19 vaccination site at Miami Dade College’s North Campus, but despite the large crowds, patients described a smooth relatively short process.
It was busy and bustling Saturday morning at the massive FEMA-run site, located in Northwest Miami-Dade.
Among those who lined up for their dose was 83-year-old Henry Sturrup.
“I’m certainly glad I came here this morning,” he said. “It was the best thing that could have happened to me.”
Others said they waited hours just for a parking spot, but once they had one, the crew made the process of actually receiving a shot quick and easy.
“Great job, amazing people. They’re heroes; I love it,” said patient Roberto Carneiro.
Rainy weather rolled in Saturday afternoon, but it didn’t stop some from coming out.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to be protected,” said Mercedes Medina, a professor at Miami Dade College.
Medina said she is at a higher risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19 because she has diabetes.
She said she been teaching virtually, and after being fully vaccinated, she hopes to see her students in person soon.
“There’s something about that live engagement that I miss,” she said. “I love the remote teaching that gives flexibility, but it shouldn’t be in place of live teaching.”
At one point, the downpour caused a pause in operations at the site, but crews were able to reopen once the rain abated.
With the rain likely playing a part, some patients said their wait was much shorter than those who showed up earlier.
Medina said she waited in the car line for just 10 minutes, and the vaccination process took about 30.
“They were very organized,” she said.
The FEMA-run site is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
All Florida residents 65 and older can get a vaccine, as well as police officers and firefighters 50 and older.
Anyone over the age of 18 who is a teacher, school employee or has underlying health conditions is also allowed to receive the vaccine.
Patients who have one those of medical conditions need to bring a doctor’s note or this form signed by a doctor.
For more information about vaccination sites in Florida, click here.
If you would like to pre-register for a vaccine at the new site, click here.
To check for vaccination appointment availability at Publix locations, click here.
For more information about vaccinations at Holy Cross Health and a list of the medical conditions that will qualify patients for an appointment, click here.
If you have a severe underlying health condition that makes you eligible for the vaccine and need a form for your healthcare to sign, click here.
Anyone with questions and concerns about the coronavirus can call the Florida Department of Health’s 24-hour hotline at 1-866-779-6121.
Copyright 2021 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.