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New mobile COVID-19 vaccination unit opens in Little Havana

A new mobile COVID-19 vaccination unit opened Wednesday morning at a public housing building in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood.

MIAMI – A new mobile COVID-19 vaccination unit opened Wednesday morning at a public housing building in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood.

Seniors who are residents of the Robert King High Towers, at 1407 NW 7 St., will be allowed to receive the first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. The 14-story building has 303 efficiencies and 12 one-bedroom apartments.

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and Commissioner Eileen Higgins visited the mobile unit Wednesday morning. The unit is part of a new program that aims to vaccinate seniors age 65 and older who live in public housing in Miami-Dade County.

Officials said about 200 residents will be vaccinated on Wednesday, but it’s unclear how many will be vaccinated on Thursday.

There are currently 800 residents in the building, some of whom may have already been vaccinated at other sites, like Jackson Health and Hard Rock Stadium, but many have not.

Mobile COVID-19 vaccine unit in Little Havana. (WPLG)

Merle Montalvo, 78, told Local 10 News reporter Madeleine Wright that she can’t get around that easily because of medical issues, including arthritis.

So when she found out the COVID-19 vaccine was coming to the building near where she lives, she quickly signed up.

She’s among hundreds of people who stood in line Wednesday to get the shot.

“Many of them have received vaccinations through their medical center, Leon Medical Center, and a few at other sites, but most of them have not,” Higgins said.

The hours of operation for the mobile unit are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Wednesday and Thursday.

The vaccines are being administered through a private, Utah-based company called Nomi Health that was contracted to provide on-the-ground services. Nomi Health has a van full of supplies that is parked near the apartment building where seniors will receive their shots.

According to county officials, Nomi Health staff members called all the residents at Robert King High Towers to ask if they would like to register for the vaccine.

Residents can either make an appointment in advance or walk up and register in person

The county will add more mobile testing units if the pilot program is successful, but only if there are enough doses available.

According to the Florida Department of Health’s most recent COVID-19 vaccine report on Miami-Dade County, 108,802 people have only received the first dose and 16,033 have completed the series.

About the Authors:

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

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.