MIAMI – Appointments for COVID-19 vaccines at the Jackson Health System were supposed to open to seniors 65 and older at 11 a.m. Tuesday.
However, Jackson’s online portal to sign up for those slots opened around 9 a.m., and people who happened to be on the site snapped up the 12,000 appointments by around the time it was supposed to go live.
That led to frustration for many Miami-Dade County residents who were hoping to be part of this wave of vaccinations.
“To say and repeatedly say they were opening at 11 o’clock and then have it open at 9, from what I see, just doesn’t make sense,” said resident Silvan Seidenman, who was shut out.
Those who landed the appointments considered themselves the lucky ones, and many of them were lined up Tuesday afternoon to receive the Pfizer shots.
“I have a 3:45 appointment. I got here by 2,” Vivian Mardoningo said. “They cut the line off right behind me.”
Even though that line of people had appointments, some were ultimately turned away and asked to come back Wednesday.
“They told us that they don’t have enough resources to give us the shots,” said Paul Kushel, whose appointment was postponed. “They promised us they’d take us tomorrow morning.”
“They said there was a computer glitch and that they overbooked for today,” added Elizabeth Perez, who made an appointment for her grandmother.
Jackson is asking for patience as it rolls out the vaccines that are now available to people over 65 in Florida, in addition to long-term care facility residents and staff, and healthcare workers with direct contact to coronavirus patients.
Jackson advises people to check back to their website Jacksonhealth.org frequently, as they say more appointments will be posted when more doses arrive.
“We are not setting appointments unless we have vaccine for those appointments,” Jackson CEO Carlos Migoya said.
Migoya said that Jackson can do 2,000 appointments per day and that the hospital will not know until later in the week how much more of the vaccine will be coming in.
“Jackson launched its online COVID vaccine registration portal this morning for anyone over age 65 and, as expected, the slots filled up quickly in less than two hours,” the health system said in a statement. “We realize this vaccine is in high demand, and we will continue to open more slots as we receive additional vaccines. Information will continue to be updated on JacksonHealth.org and through Jackson’s social media channels. As we navigate through this unprecedented, logistically complex vaccine distribution, Jackson’s top priority is inoculating as many eligible people in our community as we can.”
The vaccines are to be administered in three Jackson locations:
- Christine E. Lynn Rehabilitation Center, 1611 NW 12th Ave., Miami
- North Dade Health Center, 16555 NW 25th Ave., Miami Gardens
- Jackson South Medical Center, 9333 SW 152nd St., Kendall