Just hours after they began taking appointments to distribute the COVID vaccine to seniors and community healthcare providers, Broward Health announced that they have filled all appointment slots until February 2021.
In a statement, Broward Health said that they have reached capacity and can no longer schedule new appointments.
“We are proud of the community for recognizing the importance of the vaccine and are continuing to research ways to expand capacity so we can resume scheduling in the coming weeks,” the statement read.
Dr. Aldo Calvo, Medical Director of Ambulatory Services with Broward Health, said they had received over 100,000 calls from residents over 24 hours.
“Since yesterday (December 29), we have received over 100,000 calls and 30,000 emails with requests for COVID-19 vaccinations at this particular site. We’ve also made 5,000 appointments for vaccinations through the end of February,” he said during a press conference.
Calvo said that it is unfortunate that the hospital will not be able to meet the demand of the community until February because of capacity issues.
“Capacity means multiple things. We have enough vaccines to go through the end of February but like other healthcare systems in the country, we need staffing and we have issues with capacity at the location, which we are trying to figure out as soon as possible,” he said.
The overwhelming demand comes as a bit of a surprise given that many Florida residents were skeptical of the vaccine when distribution first began. Across the Caribbean-American community in South Florida, many residents said that they would not take the drug until they were certain that there were no side effects.
In the meantime, other health facilities in South Florida are also taking appointments for COVID-19 vaccination.
Cleveland Clinic announced they would also give vaccines to members of the public who meet certain criteria, including being ages 65 or older as well as first responders and those with high-risk medical conditions. For more information on how to schedule an appointment, call 954-659-5950.
Holy Cross Health in Fort Lauderdale is administering the vaccine to patients 75 years of age and older.
Jackson Health in Miami-Dade announced they would start giving the vaccine to members of the public ages 65 and older starting this week before releasing an online platform next week allowing residents to request an appointment.