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Miami Jewish Health Begins Giving Residents, Staff The Moderna Vaccine

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Residents and staff at the Miami Jewish Health nursing home rolled up their sleeves Monday morning to receive their coronavirus vaccination.

Last week, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order which prioritizes vaccinations for older residents, more than 4 million people in Florida are eligible. People older than 65 will receive their vaccinations before essential workers like firefighters, teachers, and grocery store workers.

Eulalio Gonzalez, 82, was one of the first at Miami Jewish Health to receive the Moderna vaccine. He said he was looking forward to getting vaccinated.

"I like that, it's very good for everybody. I don't want it for me alone, I want it for everybody," he said.

Gonzalez told CBS4's Peter D'Oench, "Put the vaccine in you. It is good for your health."

He'll need a second inoculation in 28 days. As will 92-year-old Marion Marker who was also vaccinated.

"I was really anxious about getting it. I feel it's very important and that we should all follow the rules. The rules are to get your vaccine, say six feet apart, wear a mask. It's very, very important," she said. "I think it is very sad that some people do not see the reality of this disease."

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CBS4 was inside Miami Jewish Health for a dramatic image.

The first person to be vaccinated Monday morning was 103-year-old Luz Carballo. She was born on January 18th of 1917 and as an infant, she survived the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918.

"This is exciting. This is what we've been waiting for four months. This is one extra tool in our toolbox to help fight the pandemic and we're happy to be one of the first facilities and the first group to receive the vaccine," said Dr. Shaun Corbett, the facility's Chief Medical Officer.

"Studies show that the vaccine is 94 to 95 percent effective in preventing people from getting severe COVID and our population is particularly vulnerable and it is so important to protect our frontline workers as well. Clearly, the vaccine outweighs any side effects. Most side effects are resolved within 2 days or so and can be relieved with Tylenol. So the vaccine is far more important than the side effects."

Corbett hopes to vaccinate nearly all of its residents in the coming weeks. He added that he and his staff have faced some serious obstacles and challenges in 2020.

"It has been very challenging," he said. "There is fatigue. But everyone here has been stepping up."

So far, about 32,000 people have received their first dose in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. However, most are younger than 65, according to statewide data.

As more vaccine shipments arrive in Florida, seniors 65 and older are starting to get their first dose. There was a line just north of Naples Monday. 600 people rolled up their sleeve.

In South Florida, Mt Sinai Medical Center is taking appointments for those 75 and older.

The positivity rate of new cases remains too high for medical experts to relax. It has been nearly a week since the governor opened the door for seniors 65 and older to get vaccinated. As cases increase, most South Florida seniors will now wait to see when they will get the first dose of protection from the virus.

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