Long lines at South Florida vaccination sites as teachers begin receiving doses

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OPA-LOCKA, FLA. (WSVN) - Seniors continue rolling up their sleeves across South Florida this weekend, as local schoolteachers began receiving their COVID-19 vaccine doses.

Saturday’s vaccination drives come as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis pointed out an upcoming milestone in the rollout.

“We are rapidly approaching one million vaccinations just to Florida seniors,” he said.

From Miami-Dade County to Broward, the lines were long, and the seniors seemed to be satisfied.

“Just really relieved, actually, to finally have the vaccination,” said a woman.

“It was very easy. I thought it was going to hurt, and it did not,” said patient Mary Jenkins. “I am so grateful.”

Securing an appointment, however, remains a challenge,

“I was thrilled. Not easy to get an appointment, because you get cancelled so often, but everything worked out perfectly,” said patient Dennis Markow.

In Opa-Locka, patients packed Helen Miller Community Center to receive their first dose.

“We have over 500 COVID vaccinations to provide,” said Opa-Locka Vice Mayor Veronica Williams.

“They’re finally glad to be able to get that shot. Some of them have been in the house for months,” said Pastor Joseph Kelley, one of the organizers, “and so they’re excited to be able to take that shot, to be able to go out and see family and get out a little bit.”

Meanwhile, Broward County schoolteachers 65 and older also received their first shot.

Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie called the educators essential, and he said he will keep pushing the state to provide the vaccinations and make them a priority during the pandemic.

“This is a great step to get us back to what I feel is a sense of normalcy in our educational programs that we have here in Broward County,” said Runcie.

“I’ll be 67 next Saturday, and I’m just so thankful to have this,” said teacher Sue Anderson, “just the security and the health benefits of this to protect me and my students and my family.”

On Saturday, The Miami Herald reported that the 2021 Ultra Music Festival has been cancelled due to COVID-19.

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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