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More demand than vaccine as Miami-Dade and Broward counties try to ramp up distribution

MIAMI, Fla. – Supply of the COVID-19 vaccine at Jackson Memorial Hospital is limited, according to officials on Thursday, therefore they will first offer it to senior citizens within the hospital system before making it available to the public.

These patients include more than 10,000 people who have risk factors from procedures such as open heart surgeries or organ transplants.

After that, JMH said it will create an online portal to allow seniors in Miami Dade County to sign up for an appointment.

JMH administrators said they are awaiting another shipment of the vaccine. About 15,000 are expected to be arriving in the coming days.

Meanwhile, other hospital groups had so many people calling since the beginning of the week that now, they say, they are completely booked.

This while the State of Florida expands access to the coronavirus vaccine. County health departments are now distributing doses to senior citizens.

“Each county health department will be offering the vaccine in ways that best fit the needs of that particular community,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said.

In Broward County, the Florida Department of Health will start vaccinating people ages 65 and older beginning Jan. 3.

The Department launched a website for people to sign up for drive-through vaccination sites, but on Thursday morning, a message appeared on the site, which said: “This site has been taken down for maintenance in order to serve you better.

Other organizations have already started vaccinating senior citizens. Broward Health has 5,000 people from eligible groups scheduled for the coronavirus shot through February. But now if you call the appointment hotline, a message states that capacity has been reached and they are no longer accepting appointments.

“We know that there’s great demand and we want to meet that demand but unfortunately we will not be able to provide any new appointments,” Broward Health’s Dr. Aldo Cavo said.

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About the Authors:

Madeleine Wright is a general assignment reporter for Local 10 News. She joined the team in March 2017.

Michelle F. Solomon is the podcast producer/reporter/host of Local 10's original, true crime podcast The Florida Files and a digital journalist for Local 10.com.