Commissioner, local church host vaccinations as Hard Rock Stadium announces site shift

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MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) - Hard Rock Stadium has undergone another medical makeover, as officials step up their efforts to distribute coronavirus vaccinations faster.

A shift in how COVID-19 testing and vaccinations are administered at the Hard Rock Stadium site went into effect on Monday.

“This is only by appointment. There are no exceptions,” said Florida Division of Emergency Management spokesperson Mike Jachles.

If you’re in line at Hard Rock Stadium, consider yourself lucky.

So far it’s been a bumpy drive for South Florida’s elderly and most vulnerable, snagging one of the thousand or so daily appointment’s for the COVID vaccine nearly impossible. The demand has been greater than the supply.

State officials Monday separated COVID testing and vaccines in hopes of streamlining both.

“This will be on the southside of 199th Street and cars must approach from the west to the east. They’ll enter Gate 16,” Jachles said.

Over the weekend in Southwest Miami-Dade, 500 seniors got their shot at protection.

“I’m so happy about this,” said Teresa Brock.

But the thousands who haven’t been lucky enough to roll up their sleeve are not so happy, and local leaders feeling the pressure. Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and the county commissioner sent a letter to the governor requesting more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“We’re telling the governor we want three times or four times the amount of vaccines that we’re getting,” said Cava.

The slow vaccine rollout here in South Florida, and across the country, comes as the state reports some 8,000 new cases of COVID-19 — roughly a third in South Florida — and as the incoming CDC director shares a grim warning for the weeks ahead.

“By the middle of February, we expect half a million deaths in this country,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky. “That doesn’t speak to the tens of thousands of people who are living with a yet uncharacterized syndrome after they’ve recovered.”

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

Anyone with questions and concerns about the coronavirus can call the Florida Department of Health’s 24-hour hotline at 1-866-779-6121.

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