The first federal COVID-19 vaccination center in Miami-Dade County, Florida’s most populous county, began operating in the early hours of Wednesday with a significant influx of people.
The north campus of Miami Dade College is, as of Wednesday, a federal COVID-19 vaccination center, with the capacity to administer up to 2,000 vaccines daily, after obtaining permission from the government’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The center will administer not only Pfizer’s compounds, which require two doses and are kept at very low temperatures, but also some 500 of Johnson & Johnson’s, which require only one dose and can be preserved in a standard refrigerator.
The vaccination site thus becomes one of the first in the United States to begin administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which was given the green light last weekend by U.S. regulatory authorities.
The interim president of the university center’s north campus, Fermin Vazquez, told local CBS station that they expect to ramp up to 3,000 doses per day and that after about three weeks they will be able to administer about 5,000 doses each day.
“There will be a constant flow of vaccines available on site,” the executive predicted.
Precisely, from Wednesday on, school teachers, police officers and firefighters over 50 years of age join those who can already receive the vaccines in Florida.
During the next two months, the vaccination center at the north campus of Miami Dade College will operate seven days a week and will preferably vaccinate those who have an appointment, although this is not exclusive.
Starting also on Wednesday, two mobile sites will operate under FEMA supervision, administering 500 vaccines per day in areas with needy populations in Miami-Dade.
As announced by the state governor, Ron DeSantis, flags will fly at half-staff today in Florida’s public buildings in honor of those who died from COVID-19, which as of Tuesday totaled 31,696 deaths since the first cases were officially reported on March 1st of last year.
In the Florida State of the State address delivered on Tuesday, DeSantis boasted of the policies implemented in response to the coronavirus whereby, unlike other states, a commitment was made to keep the economy and schools open, which has made Florida an “oasis” in the midst of the pandemic.
Regarding the people of Florida he said: “We will not allow anyone to close their schools, we will not allow anyone to take their jobs and we will not allow anyone to close their businesses”, said the Republican, who highlighted the fact that in this state priority has been given to those over 65 years of age in the vaccination program.