SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Seniors who were able to secure appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine at Baptist Health began receiving their first doses, as the vaccination rollout continues across South Florida.

7News cameras captured seniors 65 and older, those who are high-risk for the virus and Baptist employees lining up outside Baptist Health South Florida in Southwest Miami-Dade, Monday morning.

Among those standing in line were Adriano Garcia and Analisa Gishen.

“This is great, and I thank God for the opportunity, and in three weeks, I get another shot,” said Garcia.

“It just gives you some kind of mental peace of mind,” said Gishen.

Peace of mind was also the explanation given by Dr. Martin Seidman shortly after he received his shot.

“I’ve been giving shots my whole life, and now it’s on the receiving end, and it’s a pleasure,” said the retired doctor.

The employees in the line were those receiving their second dose.

Appointment slots filled fast when they became available online on Friday.

“We’re working tirelessly, day in and day out to get as many vaccines as we can,” said Dr. Madeline Camejo, Corporate Vice President and Chief Pharmacy Officer at Baptist Health.

Baptist Health will start with 13,000 appointments, but officials expect to expand that number as more doses become available in the coming weeks.

“I feel happy that I’m going to be able to protect myself and my family and the rest of the people that I meet,” said Garcia.

Baptist Health said the initial vaccine rollout will take eight weeks.

Steve and Melissa Nelson were hopeful they’d be able to get their shots, but they didn’t have an appointment, and it appeared they were turned away.

“We’ve pretty much been quarantined for 10 months,” said Steve Nelson. “You know, very little contact with outside and we’re tired of it.”

On Tuesday, Broward Health will use Inter Miami’s soccer stadium as a vaccination site.

Starting Wednesday, the Florida Department of Health will start distributing the vaccine out of Coral Square Mall in Coral Springs.

But across South Florida, frustration is growing, as the demand for the vaccine continues to outweigh the supply.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Florida has received more than 1.6 million doses of vaccine, but less than half of that has been distributed.

“The whole rollout has been so inefficient and chaotic,” said Melissa Nelson. “Nothing’s organized, you know, you go on the websites, the portals crash right away.”

That’s exactly what happened Monday on Miami-Dade County’s vaccine registration site. Eventually it was back up and running.

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava tweeted an apology, then an announcement that the county “filled over 2,000 vaccine appointments today in [less than 10 minutes].”

In Miami Gardens, Hard Rock Stadium put COVID-19 testing on pause to distribute the vaccine to seniors.

State officials have ramped up efforts to ensure seniors receive the vaccine, as sites throughout South Florida pop up throughout Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

It’s not a moment too soon. On Monday, the Florida Department of Health reported more than 11,500 new cases of COVID-19 and 159 deaths. South Florida’s positivity rate is just under 9%.

While the rollout is slow going, the CDC reported more than 600,000 Floridians have received their first dose.

“I’m going to still be very careful, still social distance and wear my mask,” said Gishen.

Everyone who showed at Baptist Health South Florida and other sites without an appointment was turned away.

For more information about making an appointment at Miami-Dade vaccination sites, click here. For sites in Broward, click here.

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