Coronavirus

Vaccination sites across South Florida ramp up distribution amid criteria expansion – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports

NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) – Thanks in large part to the opening of new federal vaccination sites, access to the COVID-19 vaccine is rapidly expanding across South Florida, and state leaders said the criteria to qualify for inoculations will keep expanding.

7News cameras captured patients at the FEMA vaccination site at Miami-Dade College’s North Campus, Friday.

Patients said they waited no longer than an hour to receive their vaccine. They were given the opportunity to choose between the Pfizer vaccine and the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

“I decided to go Johnson & Johnson,” said Vian Azzou.

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava touted the increase in inoculations countywide.

“The total number of vaccines is maybe approaching 50,000 per week,” she said.

The MDC site currently has the capacity to vaccinate 3,000 people a day.

Patient Dion Maclin said he also opted for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

“There may be some travel plans. Me and my family have been talking about traveling a little bit,” he said, “but we’re still going to be cautious until we’re all through this.”

In addition to the FEMA sites now up and running, locations like Publix and Winn-Dixie supermarkets are expanding access as well.

Who can get vaccinated depends on the site itself.

State sites allow Floridians 65 and older to receive their vaccine, as well as those 18 or older with severe health conditions as long as they bring this form filled out and signed by their doctor.

They also welcome school employees and first responders 50 years of age or older.

At the federally supported sites, any school employee 18 or older can receive their shot.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said access may soon be expanding.

“If the demand is softening, we can then go and get some of the folks who are 60 to 65, and get them in, and then we’ll move to 55 to do it,” he said.

Miami-Dade County is creating a team called Vax Now that will soon educate communities on their vaccination options.

“They are going to be going out, especially in the neighborhoods where people are least likely to have been vaccinated, and to work with them to come to a vaccination site in their area,” said Levine Cava.

On Friday, the Florida Department of Health reported 5,975 new cases of the virus and a positivity rate of 5%. The state’s death toll has risen to 31,522.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said he is worried people are becoming too comfortable and predicts another surge of cases on the horizon.

“Many countries in Europe have seen just that. They had a decrease in cases over a six-week period, they plateaued, and now, over the past week, they saw an increase in cases by 9%,” he said.

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.

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