Broward playing catch-up at new COVID-19 vaccination site

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – There are so many COVID-19 vaccination appointments at sites across Broward County that staff members just can’t keep up.

That’s why the Florida Department of Health in Broward opened up another site Thursday at Holiday Park in Fort Lauderdale, where seniors 65 and up can drive through to receive the shot.

The line at Holiday Park began forming at dawn. The new vaccination site was designed to relieve the pressure off other sites, like Vista View Park in Davie.

“I guess they booked too many for Vista Park, so even the future shots, they’re rebooking here, which I think is our case,” Stanley Plotnick said.

From Thursday through Saturday, folks who missed appointments or were turned away at other sites will also be getting vaccinated at Holiday Park.

RELATED: Where are the Broward County COVID-19 vaccination sites?

The site will open to the broader senior citizen population on Tuesday next week, by appointment only.

“This is the first day, so there may be a couple bugs we have to work out before it gets open,” Fort Lauderdale Fire Marshal Jeffrey Lucas said.

Holiday Park is the fourth drive-through vaccination site that the Florida Department of Health in Broward County has opened, and another is opening Friday at Central Regional Park in Lauderhill.

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis was among those who received the shot on the first day.

“Those who were offered this opportunity should take the opportunity,” he said.

Local 10 News has heard from numerous people who are trying to help their elderly parents book appointments by navigating online portals and websites that crash.

“She was frustrated because she couldn’t get through the process,” Matthew Porter said after trying to secure an appointment for his mother.

Porter is 63 and his mother is 86.

He said they still haven’t been able to secure an appointment.

“My mother is not particularly technologically savvy,” Porter said.

Florida’s Emergency Management division director is describing the vaccine rollout as a “decentralized effort.”

“Health care is delivered at the local level, so you are talking about hospitals, county health departments, pharmacies, you’re talking about thousands of different providers,” Jared Moskowitz said.

Porter, however, said there is clearly “no coordinated plan.”

The Florida Department of Health in Broward County still needs hundreds of volunteers to help staff the sites and has partnered with the Broward County Medical Reserve Corp. to recruit volunteers.

BCMRC is seeking volunteers to perform tasks like:

  • Check IDs
  • Mark cars
  • Answer questions
  • Register people
  • Monitor observation area

Volunteers do not need medical experience.

Click here to register to volunteer.

About the Author: