MIAMI (WSVN) - Officials in South Florida are mobilizing the COVID-19 vaccine to those seniors 65 and older who cannot get to a vaccination site.
On Thursday, the City of Miami Gardens bused those who signed up to get vaccinated to the Jessie Trice Community Health Center.
Several senior living communities had buses stop by and pick up those who were prepared to receive their dose.
The point of the pickups is to help those who otherwise would not be able to go to a vaccination site due to not having a means of safe transportation.
Like many others, Marie and Leroy Conyers don’t have a comfortable way to get around on their own, so going to a drive-thru site wasn’t an option.
“A lot of things that I was able to do, I can’t do them now, like visiting my children out of town, and we usually go on a lot of trips,” said Marie. “Now, I can’t go on the trips because of this pandemic.”
“It’s a true thing. We’ve had a lot of friends that have passed on,” said Leroy.
When the couple heard about the program, the jumped on board.
Miami Gardens Vice Mayor Reggie Leon said the program enables those in the most vulnerable communities to receive their first vaccine dose.
“The reason why we’re bringing our seniors here, Jessie Trice has been a longtime trusted partner in our community,” said Miami Gardens Vice Mayor Reggie Leon. “When it comes to African Americans, especially getting the vaccine, they want to go with someplace that they trust. It’s very convenient, because Jessie Trice is a facility that they’re used to coming to.”
Meanwhile, first responders in the City of Miami continue to head out to vaccinate those 65 and older with the mobile vaccination unit.
On Thursday, they came to the Victoria Apartments in Little Havana.
“We’re receiving $60 million in rental assistance grant,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.
While vaccines are a priority, the economic hardship created by the pandemic is still very real.
Miami-Dade County commissioners discussed CARES Act funding that will help families facing eviction stay in their homes a little longer.
“We’re going to be doing outreach to all of those landlords to do our very best to make them whole,” said Levine Cava.
On Thursday, the state reported more than 11,000 new cases of the virus and a positivity rate of 7.7%.
According to the Miami Herald, around 3,400 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have gone bad throughout the state of Florida due to being left out or the vials being broken.
Although it seems like a lot of doses, it makes up 0.2% of the vaccines sent to the state.
Florida is not the only state seeing doses go bad. Several other states have reported some type of spoilage.
The vaccines need to be stored at extremely cold temperatures, so when they are taken out, if they are not used within a certain timeframe, they can no longer be administered.
Nonetheless, those who already received their first dose are grateful.
When asked whether being bused to get vaccinated is a game changer, Marie replied, “Yes, yes it is.”
Marie and Leroy said they are looking forward to seeing family members again after receiving their second dose, something they haven’t done in months.
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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