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Miami-Dade’s newest COVID-19 vaccine sites open with eligibility rules enforced

Allen Park Community Center in North Miami Beach and the Miami Springs Community Center opened as federally supported vaccination satellite sites Thursday, allowing more South Floridians to get the coveted shots (if eligible).
Allen Park Community Center in North Miami Beach and the Miami Springs Community Center opened as federally supported vaccination satellite sites Thursday, allowing more South Floridians to get the coveted shots (if eligible).

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Lines were long Thursday at the new FEMA-supported, state-run COVID-19 vaccination satellite site at Allen Park Community Center in North Miami Beach.

It’s one of two new walk-up sites that opened Thursday, along with one at the Miami Springs Community Center.

“You see that the people have the desire to get the shot. The need is there,” said North Miami Beach Mayor Anthony F. DeFillipo. “People are encouraged to come out and get the vaccine. Everyone wants to get back to normalcy and that’s what we are looking to achieve as a city.”

One person who had reached the front of the line said he had been there for three hours.

Staff administering the shots are requiring the state’s vulnerability form (signed by a doctor) or a doctor’s prescription indicating a patient is extremely vulnerable for anyone looking to get the vaccine as a vulnerable patient.

The state has made those requirements clear over the past two days after some young adults said they got a dose without a doctor’s note or conditions that make them vulnerable.

On Thursday, staff members screened people to make sure they were eligible for the shot at the FEMA-supported sites in Miami-Dade County. The main hub at Miami Dade College’s North Campus had a shorter line than in recent days when people not eligible showed up trying to get inoculated.

Sergio Carvalho, who wasn’t eligible, didn’t get the vaccine Thursday.

“Yesterday I had friends, they got vaccinated. But today they said no chance,” he said.

Younger Florida residents may not need to wait too much longer, though. The federal government says it is working to produce enough vaccines for every adult who wants one to get one by May.

“We’re going to do an age-based approach, but I do think once we get into April, it may be anyone that’s eligible under the [emergency use authorization], we may just be able to open it up,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said. “We’re not there yet, but we may be able to do that.”

Broward Mayor Steve Geller said Thursday that 65% of the seniors in his county have been vaccinated

“It seems clear that, if there are no unexpected problems with the variants, every adult Broward resident that wants a vaccine should have received at least the first shot in the next approximately two months,” he said.

DeSantis has already announced that all Floridians 60 and older will be eligible for the vaccine starting Monday, and shortly after that the target age will drop to 55.

The two new FEMA-supported satellite sites are located at:

Allen Park Community Center, 1770 NE 162nd St. in North Miami Beach

Miami Springs Community Center, 1401 Westward Drive in Miami Springs

Both are planned to be open March 11-17, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. They will be able to administer 500 vaccines per day and are first-come, first-served — with no appointments.

The main hub remains at Miami Dade College’s North Campus. But satellite sites are intended to move around every week or so to allow different parts of the community to have access to vaccines. (The previous satellites in Sweetwater and Florida City closed Wednesday.)

If you got your first vaccine at one of the satellite sites that closed, when it comes time for your second dose, you can get that at one of the satellite sites that are running at the time, or at the main hub at Miami Dade College’s North Campus. (Reminder, if you got a Johnson & Johnson vaccine, only one dose is needed.)

For a copy of the state’s “determination of extreme vulnerability” form that must be signed by a doctor, click here.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava has urged DeSantis to lower the age requirement by 10 years every two weeks.

Vaccine opportunity Friday in Hialeah

New vaccine sites are now open in Miami-Dade County, and the county’s mayor is calling on the governor to lower the age requirement by 10 years every two weeks.
New vaccine sites are now open in Miami-Dade County, and the county’s mayor is calling on the governor to lower the age requirement by 10 years every two weeks.

Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez announced that his city will have a vaccination site open Friday for people 65 or older, plus certain front-line workers.

Vaccines will be administered at Milander Center (4800 Palm Ave.) on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 8 a.m. Only first-time shots will be given at the site.

A driver’s license or Florida ID is necessary.

Front-line workers, firefighters, police, education workers and health workers will be welcomed and must present both their Florida ID and workplace credentials.

Publix expands eligibility to those 60 and up

Publix is following the lead at state-run sites and announced that beginning Friday, March 12, they will be opening vaccination appointments to those ages 60 and older.

“However, at the direction of the federal government, retail pharmacies participating in the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program must continue to prioritize K-12 and child care teachers and personnel for future vaccination opportunities until further notice,” a news release from the supermarket chain stated.

According to the news release, any other eligible individuals will be able to able to make appointments after those in the prioritized group are finished making theirs.

Appointments for second doses are not impacted by the change.

To book an appointment or for more information visit publix.com/covidvaccine.


About the Authors:

Christina returned to Local 10 in 2019 as a reporter after covering Hurricane Dorian for the station. She is an Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist and previously earned an Emmy Award while at WPLG for her investigative consumer protection segment "Call Christina."

David Selig is the Digital Executive Producer at WPLG, overseeing Local10.com.