Coronavirus vaccine: How will Miami-Dade seniors get appointments for second shot?

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said the county will reach out to people who received the first shot from them to set up the necessary second appointment.

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – COVID-19 vaccines require a second shot, and the challenges residents have faced securing their initial appointments have raised questions about how confident people should be that they will receive that second dosage.

Local 10 News posed that question to Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava on Tuesday, and she said her county would contact the lucky seniors who have had their first shot to set up a second appointment.

In other words, you are not going to need to play the endless game of refreshing a web browser for that second shot, if you got the first one through Miami-Dade County.

“No, we are going to be personally reaching out to people who get their first shots through the county and scheduling the second,” the mayor said. “We don’t want to schedule it until we know we have the vaccine in hand.”

Asked if there’s a chance that second vaccine shot won’t happen for a patient because of supply issues, Cava said the county has been assured that they can proceed with expectations that the second dose will be available.

Cava said logistics still need to be ironed out — like whether patients will be able to choose their time for the second shot — but that “we will contact everybody that has received the first appointment to make sure they get the second vaccine.”

People are expected to get some degree of protection from the virus within two weeks of the first shot, with the second shot bringing the vaccine’s full protection. For the vaccine by Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech, the second shot is supposed to come three weeks after the first. For Moderna, it’s four weeks.

Miami-Dade County is working with its contractor to refine the online appointment process, and one change is offering the days and times for appointments as the first step instead of the last.

On Monday, the county’s 2,000 available appointments were snapped up in 10 minutes when the webpage opened at 2 p.m. Another 78,000 people were trying.

While vaccine dose supply is the essential issue, so is internet literacy for those of age to receive the shots.

“That’s the hardest part,” said Juan Pacini, who helped his mother-in-law. “They don’t know how to refresh, and a lot of the things that we know how to do.”

The actual process of receiving the shots at Tropical Park has gotten high marks from those who have gone through it already.

“It’s faster than what I thought,” resident Frank Perez said.


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About the Authors:

Glenna Milberg joined Local 10 News in September 1999 to report on South Florida's top stories and community issues. She also serves as co-host on Local 10's public affairs broadcast, "This Week in South Florida."