MIAMI (CBSMiami) - Three new state-run COVID-19 vaccinations sites opened in South Florida on Thursday.
They are located at Broward College – North Campus, at 1000 Coconut Creek Boulevard in Coconut Creek; the Father Gerard Jean-Juste Community Center, at 690 NE 159th Street in Miami, and in an Overtown parking lot at 1551 NW 1st Avenue in Miami.
James Watley, who has lived in Overtown for 25 years, told CBS4's Peter D'Oench, "I love that this is a closer for people. A lot of people don't have transportation and now they can get to it."
Another Overtown resident, Ieshia Haynie, said "I think it's remarkable for anyone to bring materials to a neighborhood that needs them the most. I think we have been lacking in this area for some time."
The three sites were part of six that opened to provide greater access to the vaccine in underserved populations. The other sites were in Duval, Leon, and Osceola counties.
"These sites, which will administer 200 shots per day and be open seven days a week, will significantly increase access to the vaccine for seniors in these communities," said Governor Ron DeSantis.
The governor said the state will work with local community organizations to proactively schedule appointments.
The Broward College North Campus will accept walk-ups, as well as those who have scheduled appointments.
The site will be open seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. through 5:30 p.m. It will operate from the Omni Auditorium and will be open for a minimum of two months. The 200 vaccines will be available each day on a first-come, first-served basis.
The state, in partnership with the federal government, will open another site at Miami Dade College North Campus on March 3rd. Vaccinations will be given by appointment only. The site will operate daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
This site will come with its own allotment of vaccine, above what the state is normally allocated.
The site will administer 2,000 vaccines per day. Additionally, it will have two smaller, mobile satellite sites that will conduct 500 vaccinations per day in underserved areas. Through this hub and spoke model, each site will offer 3,000 vaccinations per day.
Dr. Aileen Marty, an Infectious Disease specialist with F.I.U., said, "The faster we get our people vaccinated the more we win against the virus. So I am delighted that there is going to be a FEMA vaccination site as well as more state-run sites announced by the Governor especially in underserved communities where we have seen the virus take hold and lead to so many deaths."
Marty urges people not to be skeptical about taking the vaccine.
"The hard fact is that this is a horrible virus and this is a virus that has killed 500,000 Americans and continues to cause long-term illness in such a high percentage of victims. Moreover, there are new variants that can overcome the immunities that many people originally produced but these vaccines are specially designed to change the shape of the spike in such a way that your body produces a much higher quality immunity without having to go through this disease."
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