Leaders in Miami-Dade County said they're working to quickly but safely administer COVID-19 vaccines to anyone over 65 who wants one.
Miami-Dade Mayor Daniela Levine Cava held a news conference Tuesday to discuss the county's vaccination plan, and was joined by the mayors of the City of Miami and Miami Beach as well as local hospital executives.
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"We are truly in an emergency situation," Levine Cava said. "It's all hands on deck to get shots in the arms without delay."
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Levine Cava said over 30,000 people have been vaccinated in Miami-Dade including healthcare workers and seniors 65 and older. There are more than 465,000 residents in the county who are 65 or older.
She said the county is working with the state to make drive-through vaccinations possible, and said the goal is to provide tens of thousands of vaccinations weekly in the county.
"The demand is much greater than the supply," Levine Cava said.
In addition to working with hospitals and the state on vaccination efforts, the county is also directly calling hard-to-reach seniors, visiting home-bound seniors, and giving transportation to seniors to get the vaccine, Levine Cava said.
Jackson’s CEO Carlos Migoya said he working with the state to find out when they will receive their next shipment of the vaccine, expecting that news possibly Thursday and Friday.
“Once we know what allocation we will receive, we will add appointments to the number of allocations that we have received, so that we are not overselling what our supply is," he said.
Cava brought together all the major players Tuesday to up us understand the county’s vaccine distribution plan and the efforts to ramp it up. Migoya is leading much of that conversation.
“We all hospitals compete against each other for other things, but right now we're all working together for one common goal,” Migoya said.
With new distribution efforts and sites, like the Hard Rock Stadium, on the horizon, Migoya thinks the county will have the infrastructure in place to be able to vaccinate about 50-60 percent of the 65+ residents — or about all the interested seniors — in the county by the end of January or early February.
However, he says a lot of that will depend on the vaccine supply the state gets from the federal government.
But if the operations and the supplies align, Migoya thinks we could have about 1.2 million people in Miami-Dade vaccinated by the end of April. That number combined with those who have already been infected, he says, gets the county close to heard immunity.
Though when it comes to vaccine supply, he made sure to dismiss any concerns about those second doses.
“We've been ensured by the manufactures that whenever we receive the first doses, that the second doses come back automatically,” Migoya said.