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Miami-Dade, Broward seniors face maze of COVID-19 vaccine confusion

MIAMI, Fla. – Many seniors say they are desperate for the vaccine. There is no central location for information. They don’t know where to go, who’s eligible or how they can get access to the COVID-19 vaccine.

As several South Florida hospital systems have begun offering the coronavirus vaccine to people 65 and over, many have already run out. On Wednesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that county health departments would be providing shots to seniors, but so far the process has been clunky to say the least.

Interest overwhelmed the Florida Health Department’s website, which now says it’s been shut down for site maintenance.

Local sports talk radio host Andy Slater was among those trying to secure an appointment for his mother.

“There’s a lot of demand for this. So, how can you put up appointments and not think that so many people are going to go to the website knowing you’re going to get so much traffic?”

He was able to log on and secure one of the first available slots for his mother, Irma, to get her shot. She meets the criteria, but hours later got an email that said her appointment was rejected.

Irma said: “They just don’t have things together. They just didn’t do a good job setting things up.”

On Thursday, the county’s health department sent out a tweet that said if you signed up and received a rejection letter to ignore it and that a confirmation email would be forthcoming.

In Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava announced a central website to provide information on local availability.

“We want people to get vaccinated, we don’t want them to be searching and we want to roll it out as quickly and as effectively as we can,” the mayor said.

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