POMPANO BEACH (CBSMiami) – It’s a big day for some residents and staff at The Woodlands at John Knox Village.
On Wednesday, 90 residents and 80 healthcare staff will get their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine completing the inoculation.
Diane and John Dalsimer, who volunteer in the skilled nursing unity, are among those getting a second dose.
“I will still wear my mask. John and I will still mask. We’ll still keep our distance from people. We know that this disease is still out there but we know that we’re not going to part of contributing it to others. We hope that the vaccine, whatever percentage works, will keep us from contracting the disease and will give us more protection,” said Diane Dalsimer.
Some of the healthcare staff will receive the first dose of the vaccine. John Knox Village health director Mark Raymer said a large number of workers did not get vaccinated the first time around, many out of fear. Now some have changed their minds.
“We’ve educated staff and we have an additional 85 people that are going to get the vaccine today for their first dosage. The Department of Health and their team have committed to come back a second time for this group in another three weeks. So between the first group and the grouping today we have between 250 and 275 of our long term care elders and our staff receiving the vaccine. So we are excited about it,” he said.
Some residents who were fearful of getting it during the first round will also get their first dose of the vaccine.
“The first go-round we really had no side effects, negative outcomes, a couple of nurses had chills for a few hours, but our elders were fine with it. We are very excited,” said Raymer.
John Knox Village was among the first in Florida to offer vaccinations to its residents.
Approximately 700 residents in independent living situations at the retirement community are not included in this process. One resident told CBS4 she made her appointment to get a vaccination with Broward Health and will receive it in the coming weeks.
Broward and Pinellas elder care facilities were the first to get the Pfizer vaccine, which requires extremely cold temperatures for transit.
Gov. Ron DeSantis said the state’s priority is vaccinating those 65 and older, those in long term care facilities, and front line healthcare workers.
On Wednesday, Memorial Healthcare System confirmed that they will start vaccinations on Thursday for those 65 and older who have made appointments.
To make appointments, Memorial is providing two options.
People who have been a patient at any Memorial facility can use the MyChart portal. MHS employees and medical staff can use this option, too.
- Go to your MyChart.
- Programmed in your chart is a section titled “appointments” to make an appointment.
- Choose a date, time, and location that is convenient.
People who have not been a Memorial patient, or do not have MyChart availability, can call Memorial’s Centralized Scheduling at (954) 276-4340 to make an appointment.
The call center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed on the weekend.
Individuals may experience longer than normal wait times on the phone.
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Many who are eligible for vaccination in South Florida have been dealing with long lines, being turned away, or unable to get an appointment at all.
Florida International University infectious disease expert Dr. Aileen Marty said this vaccination frustration will eventually improve.
She acknowledged this was never going to be an overnight process to get all willing seniors vaccinated.
“We truly, truly need over 75% coverage to really feel protected, and, mind you it would be better if we had 90% coverage,” she said.
A bit of good news is that officials trying to make the appointment process more streamlined.
“What we’re working on is to make it a more coordinated in a central [web]site, so people don’t have to hunt which hospital might have shots, or which location may or may not have shots,” she explained.
Dr. Marty understands some may be fearful, but assures people the vaccine is not going to run out on them.