Thousands of healthcare workers in South Florida have begun receiving their second shots of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
“I got this shot today because it’s time to put an end to this pandemic. I got the shot today to honor all the people who have lost their lives during the pandemic,” said Dr. Kiesha Raphael, Vice Chief of Anesthesia at Memorial Regional Hospital.
“This vaccine is extremely safe, very effective and the likelihood of having any severe adverse reaction is extremely low. Much lower than the complications of acquiring the COVID virus and potentially dying from the complications of the virus,” Dr. Randy Katz, Medical Director of Emergency Services at Memorial Regional Hospital.
Second in line for vaccines are individuals 65 years or older. Seniors can now make an appointment to receive their first dose on the Miami-Dade County’s website at miami.dade.gov/vaccine. Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach was the first to schedule seniors for vaccinations.
“Up to this point, about 80% of the vaccine doses has been distributed to hospitals around the state. Some are doing really well with that and we want to thank them with what they’ll do,” said Governor Ron DeSantis.
DeSantis says his goal is to speed up the process and have large-scale sites throughout the state where COVID-19 vaccinations can take place.
“I’ve directed the Divison of Emergency Management to work with the Florida Department of Health to identify state-run COVID-19 testing sties that can be converted into vaccine sites,” said DeSantis.
DeSantis says the next group he’s targeting for vaccinations is the workforce, including teachers and other essential workers.
“2020 was not the best year, it was really tough for a lot of people. I think 2021 is going to be brighter,” said DeSantis.
As for Broward County, The Florida Department of Health has provided over 26,000 COVID vaccine appointments to individuals ages 65 and over. The website browardcovidvaccine.com shows all appointments have been filled at this time but it’s recommended to check the site daily.