First day of COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Broward County not smooth

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DAVIE, Florida. – Don’t bother calling the Florida Department of Health in Broward County to schedule an appointment if you are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine – word from the Department of Health is that you must make an appointment. you online.

That’s a tough feat considering the website was down more often than it was working. Many people said they had been trying for weeks to get an appointment.

[[[[RELATED: Get details on Broward County locations: Vista View Park, Davie; Tradewinds Park, Coconut Creek and, Tuesday, Markham Park, Sunrise. The website address: https://browardcovidvaccine.com/

At 1 a.m. Monday, the website was back online. However, he clarified that all appointments were filled: “The Florida Department of Health in Broward County provided 26,465 COVID-19 vaccination appointments for people age 65 and older. All appointments have been filled at this time. Please check this website regularly as more sites and appointments will be added over the coming days and weeks. »

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On the first day of the vaccination rollout for people 65 and older, things weren’t easy at Vista View Park, one of two sites that opened on Sunday. The other was Tradewinds Park in Coconut Creek.

Hundreds showed up at Vista View Park and received the vaccine, while others were turned away because they didn’t have an appointment or were caught up in the crash tangle of the website.

There was a short window on Sunday morning where the website was working, but it crashed shortly after despite FDOH sending out a statement that the website was back up and running.

At Vista View Park, a line of cars stretched throughout the park and down a side street for most of the day. The COVID-19 vaccination site opened at 8 a.m. and was scheduled to stay open until 4 p.m. Sunday.

Jonathan Tabachnikoff, a medical professional, accompanied his 74-year-old mother who had an appointment booked online.

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“The line was around the corner and it took us an hour just to get to the entrance to be told there was a problem with the computer, but if we were ok with staying we would were welcome and it would still be a few hours,” Tabachnikoff said.

The two had struggled to find him a date until a spot opened up online this morning.

Others who showed up today were also hoping for the best after the website for securing pitches repeatedly crashed even in the middle of booking an appointment.

Richard Mure was waiting in his car and hoping that when he was on the front line he could get the shot.

“The site kept crashing, so we tried to come back, but it kept saying, you can’t come back, you’re already registered with an appointment. I hope their technology is up to snuff and they have the availability to find my name there,” Mure said.

Information from the Florida Department of Health states:

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If you have already registered you should have received a confirmation email, please check your spam or junk folders. For all future appointments, a confirmation email will be sent within 48 hours of registration.

If you attempt to register and find that appointments are not available, please check back often as we are increasing the number of seniors vaccination sites in Broward County in the coming weeks.

Vaccinations will be available free of charge, by appointment only. Appointments for drive-thru vaccination sites can be made at https://browardcovidvaccine.com. Appointments cannot be made over the phone at this time..

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People who receive a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will automatically receive an appointment for the second dose 21 days later.

Overall, rolling out the vaccine here and across the state has been difficult. The head of the department overseeing the program appeared on Local 10’s Sunday news program, “This Week in South Florida” and explained the difficulties.

“It’s hard to do long-term planning when you only get a 7-day glimpse of when the vaccine arrives,” said Jared Moskowitz, director of Florida’s Division of Emergency Management. “There is a lot of hesitation with the suppliers on the second shot, again, because we are not clear when this second shot is coming and even if this first delivery of the second shot has arrived.

Moskowitz said his department is monitoring vaccination site deployments and any issues and assessing needs as the week progresses to keep things running smoothly. For people who got vaccinated today, they got an appointment to come back for the second shot since it was the Pfizer two-shot vaccine that was given out.

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The coronavirus screening site at Holiday Park in Broward County is in transition to a vaccine administration site.

According to the City of Fort Lauderdale, it is working with nearby cities of Oakland Park, Pompano Beach and Wilton Manors to establish a COVID-19 vaccination site.

Once operational, it will be operated by the Florida Department of Health.

(Below is the information sheet that recipients receive before receiving the Pfizer vaccine.)

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