MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) - Despite the recent pause on the distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, local leaders are hopeful South Florida residents will continue to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
On Thursday, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava received her second vaccine dose at Zoo Miami.
Sites across South Florida continue to distribute the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.
Other local leaders joined Levine Cava, as they tried reaching out to members of their communities and assure them the vaccines are safe and to help them find a vaccination site near them.
The mayor’s second inoculation happens as Florida’s positivity rate sits at 6.66%
On Wednesday, Miami-Dade County announced over 1 million residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
“We have 75% of those over 65 vaccinated and a total of one million shots delivered across Miami-Dade County,” said Levine Cava. “We feel that we are well on the road to turning this pandemic around.”
Those doses aren’t stopping. Floridians continue to visit vaccination sites to receive their shots.
“I didn’t wait. I walked right through,” said patient Alina Blanco. “Just go get it done. I mean, having COVID, I know people who have died, so it’s important to get our vaccines.”
“I know that we’re saying, ‘What could happen with the side effects?’ But COVID is worse,” said another patient.
Pop-up sites keep appearing across South Florida.
In Wilton Manors, various groups joined forces to host a pop-up Pfizer vaccination site on Thursday.
Originally it was supposed to be a Johnson & Johnson location, but they switched gears after officials halted the distribution of the vaccine due to rare blood clotting incidents.
“I am so supportive of being a pop-up site, because we need to get the positivity in our community below 5% for 14 consecutive days for us as a Pride Center to open back up to the community,” said a spokesperson for The Pride Center at Equality Park.
The urgency to get as many people as possible vaccinated continues as health officials urge everyone to wear masks.
“What we don’t know right now but will know as we gather more information, that you can get infected even though you’ve been vaccinated, and because you’re vaccinated, have no symptoms,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
During a House subcommittee hearing on Thursday about the federal government’s response to the pandemic, U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, asked Fauci for a better timeline of when the pandemic will be over and Americans can see a return to some sort of normalcy.
“We’d like an answer, or you best guess, since you’ve got an answer for everything else,” said Jordan.
“Well, when we get the people in this county vaccinated, the overwhelming majority of people in the country, and we project that will very likely be sometime in the beginning to middle of the summer,” said Fauci.
People in Broward looking to get vaccinated do not need to make an appointment to visit one of the Florida Department of Health’s sites in the county to receive the Pfizer vaccine.
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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