Long lines of cars and pedestrians were once again stretching out of a COVID-19 vaccination site in Miami-Dade Wednesday morning after confusion over who was eligible to receive shots.
The federally supported site at Miami-Dade College's North Campus has been busy after it appeared to be offering shots to anyone who showed up Tuesday, breaking from the eligibility requirements set by Gov. Ron DeSantis that was intended to be put seniors at the head of the line.
But at the site on Wednesday, state eligibility criteria were being enforced, staff members said.
Shots were being given to people 65 and older, long-term care facility residents and staff, healthcare workers with direct patient contact, K-12 school employees 18 and older, and law enforcement and firefighters 50 and older.
“It’s a human process and there is human error. People are also trying to work the system," FEMA's Mike Jachles said about why the state didn't follow the guidance previously.
Already, federal sites in Florida are adhering to federally issued guidelines that allow teachers and other school workers to get vaccinated — instead of complying with the Florida governor's directive that sets an age minimum of 50 for educators and school staff members.
Because of initially low demand, another federally funded vaccination site in Florida City last weekend began administering shots to any takers, regardless of age. News spread, and the site was inundated the following day, prompting officials there to reimpose age restrictions.
On Tuesday morning and again Wednesday morning, a traffic jam of vehicles formed in a parking lot at Miami-Dade College North and a long caravan of cars snaked down a nearby street.
People waited hours to get the vaccine. By 10 a.m. Tuesday, officials at the vaccination site announced they had depleted their supply of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Two new smaller sites will open Thursday — one at Miami Springs Community Center, and the other at Allen Park Community Center in North Miami Beach. Both will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.