Longer hours, no appointment needed at Hard Rock Stadium vaccination site

MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) - South Florida venues are stepping up efforts to distribute doses of the coronavirus vaccine. Age requirements have been lowered and hours of operation have been extended at some of the larger vaccination sites.

Another major change to Hard Rock Stadium, one of the largest vaccination sites, is that residents no longer need an appointment to visit the site starting Monday.

“I saw it on the news, so I came on down. I’m feeling pretty good. I’m glad they opened it,” said a vaccine recipient.

It’s another step forward in South Florida’s fight against COVID-19 now that the vaccine is easier to come by and being offered later in the evening.

“I’m kinda happy. Yeah, kinda happy,” said recipient Rose Nydisla.

On Monday, Hard Rock Stadium made the switch to offer the vaccine without an appointment.

“Everything starts at 8 o’clock in the morning for vaccines and testing. The testing runs until 7 p.m. every night, and that’s seven days a week. Vaccines are running until 10 p.m. every night, seven days a week,” said Florida Division of Emergency Management spokesman Mike Jachles.

“I was actually coming to get tested to go back to work, and they said that the vaccine line was open as long as my test was negative that I could go and get the vaccine,” said vaccine recipient Danielle Beaver.

On Monday the state reported 1,600 new cases of the virus.

In Miami-Dade County, the positivity rate is at 9%, two points higher than the one-week average of 7%.

Despite the slight increase, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava ended the county-wide covid curfew.

According to the CDC, 20% of Floridians are fully vaccinated, with another 13% one shot into a two-dose series.

With progress being made on the vaccination front, Gov. Ron DeSantis spent Monday slamming Google and YouTube for taking down the recording of a controversial roundtable he hosted last month.

During the March conversation, healthcare professionals who don’t support face coverings made unsupported claims about their effectiveness. Those claims were reported Monday during another roundtable conversation.

“To think that masks give good protection is a naïve fallacy– actually, a dangerous fallacy,” said Dr. Martin Kulldorff of Harvard Medical School.

DeSantis then cited without any evidence that lockdowns similar to the one he implemented in Florida were widely dangerous.

“I certainly believe that lockdowns have caused large amounts of deaths in the United States and across the world,” he said.

Democrats said the roundtable discussion wasn’t just inaccurate but irresponsible.

“It’s endangering the livelihoods of the people here in our state. The only way that our economy is going to be able to get back on track is if we get through this COVID,” said Democratic Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried.

The vaccination site at Hard Rock Stadium will be open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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