Several of South Florida’s hospitals began to vaccinate the senior community today including Broward Health, Cleveland Clinic in Weston, Jackson Health, and Holy Cross Health. Mount Sinai, Baptist Health, and the University of Miami Health System are making plans to roll out the vaccine.
Because it will take a while to make and distribute enough of the vaccine for everyone who wishes to be vaccinated against COVID-19, the CDC and ACIP are recommending groups of people who should get priority.
On December 20, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) updated interim vaccine allocation recommendations. In Phase 1b, COVID-19 vaccine should be offered to people aged 75 years and older and non–health care frontline essential workers, and in Phase 1c, to people aged 65–74 years, people aged 16–64 years with high-risk medical conditions, and essential workers not included in Phase 1b.
About the Covid-19 Vaccines
The Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were found to be about 95% effective during clinical trials. Both have been approved for emergency use authorization by the FDA because of the current state of emergency (the pandemic). Many other vaccines are still being developed and tested.
Several doctors at First Choice Neurology have been vaccinated. Dr. Jeffrey Gelblum said that after day 7 post-vaccination he has not experienced any side effects whatsoever.
Dr. Gelblum then explained how the vaccines are made. He said, “The vaccine contains just 10 ingredients. The most important is a molecule called messenger RNA, or mRNA — genetic material that can instruct human cells to make a coronavirus protein called spike. Once manufactured, spike teaches the immune system to recognize the coronavirus so it can be fought off in the future. Messenger RNA, which is naturally found in human cells, is unlikely to pose a threat and degrades within about a day of being injected.
The other nine ingredients are a mix of salts, fatty substances, and sugars that stabilize the vaccine. None are common allergens. The only chemical with a history of causing allergic reactions is polyethylene glycol, or PEG, which helps package the mRNA into an oily sheath, protecting it as it goes into human cells.”
Where Can I Get Vaccinated in South Florida?
The below hospitals started to vaccinate, or are making plans to vaccinate South Florida communities.
Broward Health started vaccinating adults 65 and older on Wednesday, December 30. Broward Health officials said the vaccine will not be distributed at the Fort Lauderdale hospital. Once you make an appointment you will be told where to go for the vaccine. This is to avoid people showing up at the hospital. Those who meet the age requirements do not have to live in Broward County. To schedule an appointment, call Broward Health’s Nurse Connect line at 954-759-7500.
Vaccination appointments will also be available at the Cleveland Clinic in Weston starting Wednesday, December 30. The Cleveland Clinic will start vaccinating individuals over the age of 65 and patients in high-risk categories with conditions like cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD, heart conditions, obesity, pregnancy, sickle cell disease, type 2 diabetes, and those who are immunocompromised. For more information on how to schedule an appointment, call 954-659-5950.
Jackson Health System
Jackson Health System began the COVID-19 vaccination process on Wednesday for members of the elderly community. Next week, they will open an online platform for any resident in Miami-Dade County ages 65 and older to request an appointment. The vaccine was distributed to more than 10,000 patients ages 65 and older receiving care at their facilities who are at special risk of contracting the virus.
Mount Sinai Medical Center
Mount Sinai will start vaccinating people over the age of 75 as soon as this weekend at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach. Vaccinations will not be restricted to Mount Sinai patients. Mount Sinai is partnering with the city of Miami Beach to coordinate the logistics of getting people who don’t have their own transportation to the hospital’s campus off Alton Road.
Holy Cross Health
Holy Cross Health started administering the vaccine to patients 75 years of age and older. Holy Cross is ready to vaccinate the community as long as they get the vaccine shipments. They are prepared, but they haven’t announced a planned schedule to begin vaccinations.
Baptist Health South Florida
According to Baptist Health’s website, they are making plans to offer the vaccine to seniors 65 and older as well as other vulnerable populations. They did not list a date when the vaccine will be available to the community. For more information about availability and how to make an appointment, visit baptisthealth.net/coronavirus/vaccine
University of Miami Health System
According to the UHealth website, they are currently offering the COVID-19 vaccine to frontline health care team members. They are in the planning process to schedule UHealth patients for the vaccine through MyUHealthChart.
Memorial Healthcare System
Memorial Healthcare System continues to vaccinate its healthcare workforce and all active Memorial medical staff with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. At this time, Memorial is not vaccinating seniors ages 65 years and older. Memorial has also expanded vaccination to community licensed healthcare professionals, such as dentists and chiropractors, and others as listed in the Florida Department of Health database. Community licensed healthcare professionals can make an appointment by calling 954-276-4340.
On December 11, Mercy Hospital updated its website. It states the initial vaccine rollout will be focused on healthcare personnel and will then expand from there. For now, it is too early in the process to know when more vaccines will be approved or when we may have additional guidance on when vaccines will be available to our patients and community.
As more information about the Covid-19 vaccines becomes available, we will inform you through our website and social media. Please remember the 3 W’s can make a big difference in controlling COVID-19: Wear a mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance.