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As a limited supply of the coronavirus vaccine has become available across Florida, residents are understandably anxious to know when they will be able to stand in line for a dose.
While one of the bigger sites in Broward County is switching how it will be taking residents in to get vaccinated, Miami-Dade County is facing the sobering reality of not being able to get more of the much needed vaccine.
Here’s what we know today about the coronavirus outbreak in Florida, and the effort to stop it.
Miami Secures 3,500 COVID-19 Vaccine Doses to be Distributed to Miami Seniors
The city secured the vaccine doses from the State of Florida and will be distributed to senior citizens who live within the City of Miami beginning as soon as Saturday.
The city is also providing an additional 1,000 vaccine doses provided by the State of Florida to Miami-Dade County to augment their ongoing vaccination efforts. The announcement of the new Moderna vaccine doses was made earlier Friday by Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.
Distribution of the 3,500 doses will be led by the City’s Department of Fire-Rescue, which has been administering COVID-19 tests to homebound residents since March of 2019 through its Mobile Testing Unit program. Miami will set up mobile distribution pods outside of select senior residential buildings and facilities located throughout the city.
Miami-Dade County, Florida’s Most Infected Region, Not Expected to Receive Increased Vaccine Supply
Amid a report that the federal government did not hold back millions of vaccine doses for booster shots as it claimed, Miami-Dade mayors are pleading with the state for a greater share of what remains.
The Washington Post report revealing no existing stockpile for booster shots added to the frustrations felt at the local level.
South Florida mayors hoping for a surge in vaccine supply next week instead are learning some in the state’s hardest hit county are getting a cut. Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava complained that “to get back to normal, we must have the vaccine, and the production and the distribution is going too slowly to meet the demand.”
Holiday Park in Fort Lauderdale Becoming Appointment-Only Vaccine Site
Fort Lauderdale’s Holiday Park COVID-19 vaccination site is switching to appointment-only, after it had initially been set up for walk-ins and first-come, first-serve.
“Holiday Park will be serving people 65 years or older with a scheduled appointment, verified email confirmation, or text message confirmation. All others coming to Holiday Park for vaccination will not be served,” the Florida Department of Health in Broward County said in a statement Friday.
Holiday Park is a state-run vaccination site, with the City of Fort Lauderdale assisting with the traffic flow. When traffic increased Friday, the site was temporarily shut down and reopened as it moved along.
Florida Adds 16,875 New COVID-19 Cases, Reports 188 More Virus-Related Deaths Friday
Florida added more than 16,800 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, as the state’s virus-related death toll increased by over 180.
The 16,875 new confirmed COVID-19 cases brought Florida’s total to 1,548,067 since the outbreak began, according to figures released by the state’s department of health.
After dropping below 9% on thursday, the positivity rate for new cases in the state was back up to 10.17% in Friday’s department of health coronavirus report.
President-elect Joe Biden pledged Friday to boost supplies of coronavirus vaccine and set up new vaccination sites to meet his goal of 100 million shots in 100 days. It’s part of a broader COVID strategy that also seeks to straighten out snags in testing and ensure minority communities are not left out.
“Some wonder if we are reaching too far,” Biden said. “Let me be clear, I’m convinced we can get it done.”
Biden spoke a day after unveiling a $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan” to confront the virus and provide temporary support for a shaky economy. About $400 billion of the plan is focused on measures aimed at controlling the virus. Those range from mass vaccination centers to more sophisticated scientific analysis of new strains and squads of local health workers to trace the contacts of infected people.