Miami-Dade County commissioners voted unanimously on Tuesday to urge Gov. Ron DeSantis to include hotel, restaurant and home health care workers in the next round of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution.
“I think there needs to be a priority list that is clear about who is going to be next in line after our 65 and older residents,” said Commissioner Danielle Cohen Higgins, who sponsored the resolution.
Last month, county commissioners called on the governor and the state legislature to give priority to a group of other workers that include teachers, jail guards, police, and child care workers.
“There is no question that if someone visits Miami-Dade County and they go into a hotel and a restaurant and they get infected, then it goes against the economic development of our county,” County Commissioner Rebeca Sosa added.
The governor has said seniors remain a priority. It is unlikely he will allow local leaders to determine who is next in line for a vaccine. For months, elected leaders have asked the governor for power to enforce COVID-19 restrictions and collect fines for violations.
He has denied the request.
“The governor, I know has a very hard decision moving forward in the next round and we all can do is ask and that is what we are doing here today,” Commissioner Chairman Jose “Pepe” Diaz said.
The county mayor also told commissioners the county’s pre-registration website for vaccines will go online on Wednesday, and that preference could be given to people from zip codes with low vaccination rates.
"The challenge is we don’t have the quantity. Everybody is waiting and frustrated and looking. We are fighting for more vaccine,” Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said.