Holiday Park in Fort Lauderdale begins vaccine distribution

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FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - A new vaccination site began distributing doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in Fort Lauderdale.

Friday was a busy day at Holiday Park, located at 1150 G. Harold Martin Dr., as residents 65 and older lined up to receive their dose on a first come, first served basis.

7SkyForce hovered over the public park just after 9 a.m. where dozens of cars could be seen in lines wrapped all around the park.

Officers had to close the site to prevent traffic from backing up on U.S. 1 and intermittently let cars into the park.

The site was initially used for COVID-19 testing but has since transformed into a vaccination site.

On Thursday and Friday, seniors were allowed to come to the site without making an appointment, but on Friday evening, the Florida Department of Health said appointments will be required beginning Saturday.

Some people said they were grateful they made it in line before it was cut off.

“Very grateful. I’m very impressed with their organization here, they handled it really well,” said a woman. “We’ve been here since 7 in the morning. We got turned down. We waited, came back, and we are so grateful to be here. Oh, my goodness, are we grateful.”

“I am feeling blessed to be here, I really am,” said a woman. “It took a lot to get here. I don’t live near here, but I’m thrilled to be here now.”

“We didn’t know if we were going to be able to get the shot, but obviously we are,” said a man.

However, many were turned away.

Nancy Aaraj and Mary Messa, who drove in from Palm Beach, tried several times with no luck.

“We started off at 4 this morning. We here here on line at 4 this morning,” said Aaraj.

“I’m registered on so many different websites to get the vaccine and nothing,” said Messa, “and I registered the day the phone lines opened and still got nothing.”

But the day brought fulfillment for others who waited in line for hours.

“I think it is totally the most important thing you can do,” said Diane Natelli, “and if you don’t think that you are convinced, get all the education you need, but do it, because it’s the only way we’re going to beat this thing.”

Even though Holiday Park was not an appointment site on Thursday and Friday, there were some appointments that were transferred there. It’s scheduled to reopen Saturday at 9 a.m. by appointment only.

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