Advertisement
  1. News
  2. /
  3. The Buzz on Florida Politics

Florida converts first COVID-19 testing site for vaccines

“Miami Hard Rock is the first site for this new initiative as the governor and his administration continue with proactive efforts to ensure the vaccine is administered as quickly as possible,” DeSantis spokeswoman Meredith Beatrice said in a statement.
Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens
Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens [ CHRIS CARLSON | AP ]
Published Jan. 6

TALLAHASSEE — Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens will be the first state-run COVID-19 testing location that will convert into a site where seniors and front-line healthcare workers can get vaccinated.

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office confirmed Tuesday evening that the Miami-Dade site will be the first of several state-supported testing sites that have been identified to become vaccination sites in the near future.

“Miami Hard Rock is the first site for this new initiative as the governor and his administration continue with proactive efforts to ensure the vaccine is administered as quickly as possible,” DeSantis spokeswoman Meredith Beatrice said in a statement.

Worried you got COVID during the holidays? Here’s where to get tested in South Florida

Beatrice said seniors and front-line healthcare workers may get inoculated at the site once converted. Details on when vaccines will be made available there, or whether people will need to schedule an appointment to get the shot at the site, will be forthcoming, she said.

Jackson Health CEO Carlos Migoya said at a press conference Tuesday that he expected Hard Rock to be the first of three drive-up sites in Miami Dade, capable of vaccinating 10,000 people every week, for a total of 30,000 doses administered every seven days.

“We’re working to get two other sites done in the next week to 10 days,” Migoya said.

DeSantis’ advice for jammed health department phone lines: Get more people to answer.

DeSantis said Monday the state was working to identify COVID-19 testing sites that could be converted into vaccine sites.

Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz, who oversees the effort, told the Herald/Times on Monday that the state has spent months planning on how to transform existing testing sites into ones where vaccines may be administered.

“This is not something that’s going to take me weeks to do, it’s going to take me days because I’m going in and enacting my plan,” Moskowitz said.

Moskowitz, however, said the number of coronavirus vaccines acquired by the state will determine how many testing sites are converted, and how quickly.

“We do not have the supply in Florida right now to take every testing site we have and turn it into a vaccine site. We don’t have the supply to do that,” Moskowitz said.

He said the state will follow a similar model to when it first opened testing sites.

“We’re going to be opening up several really large sites where we are doing testing — we will still do testing there — but we’re going to open up lanes to do vaccines at those major sites,” Moskowitz said. “And just like testing, we will then open up more of those on a smaller basis in communities across the state.”

Miami Herald reporter Doug Hanks contributed to this report.