Dozens of South Floridians head to vaccination sites amid pause of J&J vaccine

MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) - A long line formed outside of the vaccination site at Hard Rock Stadium on Wednesday morning as South Floridians waited to get vaccinated.

Pfizer vaccine doses are being distributed at the Miami Gardens vaccination site.

“Definitely happy, haven’t had any reaction or anything,” said one man after getting his second Pfizer dose. “You try to do the best with the best of what you’re handed.”

On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended the U.S. to pause the use of the single-shot J&J vaccine.

The announcement came after “six reported U.S. cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot.” In a joint statement, the agencies said the six cases were among women between the ages of 18 and 48 and symptoms occurred six to 13 days after vaccination.

One of the six women later died from her blood clot.

“They’ve recommended a pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine,” said White House COVID-19 Coordinator Jeff Zients. “We have more than enough Pfizer and Moderna vaccine supply to continue, or even accelerate, the current pace of vaccinations.”

While there is no direct link to the J&J shot, it is under investigation.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said despite the 75 million Americans fully vaccinated against COVID-19, hospitalizations are increasing.

No serious side effects have been reported in Florida, according to Gov. Ron DeSantis, but local sites like Miami-Dade College’s North Campus have suspended the distribution of the J&J shot.

“I don’t think people should be worried, who have already had it, who haven’t had any effects,” said DeSantis. “I think it’s likely going to be effective for you.”

According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, those who recently received the J&J shot should be on alert for symptoms including headaches, shortness of breath, chest discomfort or anything that resembles a neurological syndrome.

Vaccines are being offered at Hard Rock Stadium with no appointment needed. Second dose Pfizer shots are being administered at the MDC North Campus.

Miami-Dade County announced over 1 million residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Al Gonzalez and his family were grateful the Miami Gardens site was offering the vaccine without an appointment.

“I hope that everybody gets it,” Gonzalez said. “You know, because they need it. Everybody needs it.”

According to the Miami Herald, Florida’s education commissioner is urging superintendents to make masks voluntary on school campuses. He said in a memo, without any evidence, that masks do not stop the virus from spreading.

The Hard Rock Stadium site on Wednesday will administer 3,000 first doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 1,000 second doses between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. Cameras captured a line of cars at the site well after sundown.

For more information about vaccination sites in Florida, click here. To pre-register, 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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