State of Florida preparing to ship COVID-19 vaccines

30 hospitals will be getting vaccines within first week of distribution
Posted at 12:00 PM, Dec 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-15 12:00:40-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — While the arrival and distribution of the vaccine bring its own challenges, it also brings hope to the COVID-19 fight.

"The Division of Emergency Management and the Department of Health will start deploying the vaccine next week," Jared Moskowitz said.

Jared Moskowitz is the director of Florida's Division of Emergency Management. He said the state of Florida will receive nearly 180,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Most of those doses will be sent to five hospital systems in Florida and their 25 partner facilities.

"So, thirty hospitals will be getting vaccines within the first week of distribution," he said.

Moskowitz said that, through federal contracts, 60,000 doses will go to Walgreens and CVS to begin doing vaccinations in long-term care facilities.

"We have all proactively registered with the state," Sandi Poreda, with Grand Villa Senior Communities, said.

Poreda said they have 18 facilities around Florida.

"So as soon as the doses have been allocated to our communities, we will hear from CVS and they'll start scheduling their appointments," she said. "They'll actually come on-site and administer the vaccines to our residents and staff."

Poreda said they care for about 2,000 to 2,500 residents.

"Some positives, but we've been very fortunate," she said.

At Summers Rain Assisted Living Facility in Boynton Beach, the demand for the vaccine isn't high.

"Currently, we have about five patients who want to take the vaccine," Dr. Love Predelus said.

Predelus said all their bases have been covered.

"The health department will be providing the vaccine," she said. "We'll store it until our nurse gets there the next day and the nurse will be administering it."

Moskowitz said in the second shipment of vaccines Florida should get up to 350,000 doses of Moderna. The haul will go to more than 150 hospitals statewide.

"And, obviously, we'll be expanding our efforts in long-term care facilities, as well as EMS and fire around the state of Florida," he said.

Moskowitz said the state of Florida could receive anywhere between 800,000 to a million doses of vaccines in the month of December.