Just hours after they began taking appointments to distribute the COVID vaccine to members of the public who meet certain criteria, Broward Health said they have reached full capacity for at least the next month.
In a statement, Broward Health said they are not taking appointment requests at this time and all appointment availabilities are taken until February.
"We are proud of the community for recognizing the importance of the vaccine and are continuing to research ways to expand capacity so we can resume scheduling in the coming weeks," the statement read in part, adding additional vaccination sites are expected to open starting in January.
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Officials from Broward Health said they received over 100,000 calls from residents trying to make an appointment.
"It's just going to take a little bit of time," said Dr. Aldo Calvo, Medical Director of Ambulatory Services with Broward Health.
Calvo added the agency must look at a variety of issues, including staffing and the capacity at each location, before opening up more appointment times.
"You would think we have enough people to do this, but this is a lot of stuff," Calvo added. "When you give them this vaccine, it's not just shooting them in the shoulder and saying goodbye."
Patients must meet the following criteria for a vaccine, including:
- People ages 65 and older
- Office staff of Broward Health's credentialed physicians
- Emergency medical services personnel
- Non-credentialed community health care providers who do not have access to the vaccine, as well as their office staff
The Department of Health in Broward County announced Wednesday it would begin giving vaccinations to residents ages 65 and older starting Sunday. Residents can register for an appointment by clicking on this link, but are advised that appointments are limited at this time.
“We are excited about the opportunity to begin vaccinating our senior population, who are disproportionately affected by COVID-19, as we continue to work every day to protect our community during this pandemic.” said Dr. Paula Thaqi, Director of the Florida Department of Health in Broward County.
Cleveland Clinic announced they would also give vaccines to members of the public who meet certain criteria, including being ages 65 or older as well as first responders and those with high risk medical conditions. For more information on how to schedule an appointment, call 954-659-5950.
Jackson Health in Miami-Dade announced they would start giving the vaccine to members of the public ages 65 and older starting this week before releasing an online platform next week allowing residents to request an appointment.