Vaccinations continued through the weekend in Monroe County as 1,300 Moderna doses recently obtained by the health department were administered to health care workers and the elderly who had appointments.
Demand for the vaccine remains high with limited supply, and another dose delivery is
unknown per Monroe County’s health officer. Sheriff’s deputies, fire rescue members and teachers continue to wait their turn — as are many 65 and older who continue to inquire when they can get the shot.
Leaders from Monroe County government, emergency management and health care convened on Monday morning for its first COVID-19 coordinating call for the year. Vaccines dominated the discussion as Bob Eadie, health officer for the health department in Monroe County, said all doses were used besides a few the health department was trying to hold for fire rescue in Key West and Monroe County.
As far as more doses go, Eadie said he had not received any notification of any vaccines coming to Monroe County this week.
“Given that, we don’t have vaccines to give to anybody,” he said. “Our effort is somewhat at halt.”
A little more than 1,500 residents in Monroe County have been vaccinated, according to the latest data from the health department.
Calls and emails from the public have inundated the local health department since the initial vaccine rollout. A website and phone number created by the state’s emergency management division that would allow the public to set appointments isn’t ready just yet, Eadie told leaders. But it could be online sometime this week.
“We have been promised by the state director of emergency management sometime this week … no later than Thursday,” he said.
Lower Keys Medical Center CEO David Clay said the first allotment of vaccines were administered to frontline staff. The hospital fell short on the number needed, however, as it tries to secure more to vaccinate the remaining staff. James Muro, emergency manager at Baptist Health South Florida, said it has supply to assist frontline workers and health care staff in the county.
“We do have available dosing for 1A and 1B (groups), not for the public,” Muro said. “Supply is something that’s not a problem for us as it is for the county right now.”
Among frontline workers awaiting vaccines are fire rescues in Marathon, Islamorada and Key Largo. Also waiting are the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, airport workers and teachers.
Superintendent of Schools Theresa Axford said the district’s interested in getting teachers vaccinated as soon as possible so students can return to school full time sometime this semester.
“We’re hoping for that,” she said.
The assisted living facility in Key West is also awaiting vaccinations.
“We’re all getting a little impatient and want shots in arms,” Monroe County Mayor Michelle Coldiron said. “We do have plans in place for using the vaccines we have. We are not storing them. We’re in anticipation and ready-to-go mode.”
Vaccine demand-versus-supply issues are also being seen in Miami Dade-County, per mayor Daniella Levine Cava. On Sunday, Cava said Miami-Dade received additional vaccines. A limited number of appointments for seniors 65 and older will be made available at 2 p.m. today. Vaccinations in Miami-Dade are by appointment only. Walk-ups won’t be accepted.
A total of 135 new COVID-19 cases in Monroe County were reported to the health department as of last Friday. In all, 4,696 cases have been reported since the initial outbreak in March 2020. LKMC and Baptist Health South Florida, which runs Fishermen’s and Mariners hospitals, each reported two patients inhouse with COVID-19.
The Florida Department of Health in Monroe County received confirmation from the State Health Office on Monday regarding one additional COVID-19-related death in Monroe County. The 54-year-old-male resident of Monroe County had underlying health conditions. There are now 36 total resident deaths in Monroe County.