Vaccine access expanded to Florida residents 40 and older on Monday

NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Florida residents 40 years and older are getting vaccinated on Monday.

At Miami-Dade College’s North Campus, several people arrived at the site early to secure their spot.

“I got here at 5 a.m., waited in line, and it was pretty easy, very simple,” said Christopher Strazzella, who got vaccinated at the site.

“We got here at 5:45 a.m.,” said one woman at the site.

“We didn’t need anything other than our driver’s license, so everything was just so simple and easy for us,” said a man who got vaccinated at the site.

Next week, starting April 5, the age requirement to get vaccinated will drop to 18. Also starting that day, 16 and 17-year-olds will be allowed to receive the Pfizer shot.

Strazzella said he has been waiting to be eligible for the vaccine since the rollout first started.

“Ever since they announced there was a vaccine, probably four or five months or whatever it was, I’ve been waiting for this for a long time. You feel protected. You feel better.”

“We’re so grateful, we really are,” said one woman at the site. “It’s so special. My parents and grandma are vaccinated. Thank God that we’re just so ready for normal life to return. This means so much to us.”

“We’re super happy just to have it, just so people can feel comfortable and safe around us knowing that we’re going to be safe for everyone around us,” said a man at the site.

On Sunday, Seadell Roundtree received the 100,000th COVID-19 vaccine at the Federal Emergency Management Agency supported site, just after 10:30 a.m.

“I feel great. I feel good, and I’m thankful,” said Roundtree. “Now I can be with my family.”

On Monday, the Florida Department of Health reported 3,374 new cases of COVID-19 in the state with a positivity rate of 7.58%.

Over in Hialeah, there was a delay in opening a temporary vaccination site at Babcock Park.

City officials said it was due to a shortage of vaccines in the state.

The opening date for the vaccination site has been postponed to Wednesday.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky made a passionate plea on Monday for Americans to stay patient for a little while longer.

“I’m going to pause here. I’m going to lose the script, and I’m going to reflect on the recurring feeling I have of impending doom,” she said. “I so badly want to be done. I know you all so badly want to be done. We are just almost there, but not quite yet, and so I am asking you to just hold on a little longer.”

President Biden also expressed his concern for the number of COVID-19 cases on the rise.

“Our work is far from over,” he said. “The war against COVID-19 is far from won. This is deadly serious. We share the sentiment of Dr. Walensky, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC expressed today this is not a time to lessen our efforts. That’s what she said. We could still see a setback in the vaccination program and most importantly, if we let our guard down now we could see a virus getting worse, not better.”

For more information about eligibility requirements and vaccination sites in Florida, click here. If you would like to pre-register, click here.

For a list of vaccination sites in South Florida, 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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