Limited supply and high demand make it difficult to get an appointment for a coronavirus vaccine in Sarasota and Manatee counties, frustrating many seniors and senior public officials asking for patience until more Monday Cans become available.
« I understand people’s frustration, if they don’t make an appointment they’ll be disappointed, » said Christian Ziegler, Sarasota County Commissioner. « The only thing that can be resolved is to get more vaccine locally. ”
By Monday morning it was 6. 503 people in Sarasota County and 4. 580 have been vaccinated in Manatee County, but many of those doses have been given to hospital workers, first responders, nursing home workers, and nursing home residents.
A limited number of doses were made available to everyone age 65 and over in Sarasota and Manatee, and those appointments were quickly taken. The online reservation system has resulted in many people eagerly updating their computer screens when opening the appointment window to be disappointed.
But officials defended the system on Monday, saying they were trying to give everyone an equal chance to secure an appointment while avoiding people waiting in long lines.
« Especially when we’re targeting people 65 and over, I don’t want people to stand and I don’t want people to bring garden chairs and plan to camp outside, » said Jacob Saur, director of public safety for Manatee County. on Monday.
The Sarasota and Manatee counties initially received 3 each. 500 doses of vaccine and distributed them in the last week. Manatee County received on Monday 1. 400 more cans and plans to distribute them on Wednesday and Thursday, with 1. 200 go to seniors and 200 to first aiders. These appointments were quickly reserved on Monday. Sarasota County opened 800 more vaccine appointments for seniors on Monday.
Chuck Henry, the Florida Department of Health’s health officer in Sarasota County, said he expects the county to receive vaccine assignments every week.
« Our goal is to get vaccines to individuals as soon as possible, » said Henry. “We understand the frustration throughout the process. These vaccines arrived in small quantities. ”
Henry noted that Sarasota County has a large number of seniors, with 37% of the population being 65 years and older. That corresponds to around 150. 000 inhabitants. There are also part-time winter residents.
« If we unblock vaccine slots 400 at a time, 800 at a time, they understandably fill up in minutes, » said Henry. « The demand is enormous. ”
« As the flow of vaccines increases over the next few weeks, there will be many ways for vaccines to reach everyone, » he said. « We just have to keep being patient as we did during this pandemic. ”
While making an appointment can be difficult right now because of so few vaccine doses, Saur noted that the current system works very smoothly once someone has an appointment.
« The last week we had these vaccinations, after they entered the system, they get an appointment and come to where they sit for maybe 30 minutes in their car, » Saur said, adding : “I want to do this as quickly and as quickly as possible, it’s like a McDonald’s drive through. ”
Emails to Manatee County officials from people who have secured a vaccination appointment indicate that many people have been impressed with how the vaccination process works.
Both Sarasota counties and Manatee use Eventbrite to schedule vaccine appointments online. Saur said state officials are working to set up an alternative online appointment system to give counties one more option, but he plans to stick with Eventbrite.
« The public will get used to Eventbrite, and it works. We’ll continue to use Eventbrite for the foreseeable future, « he said.
Ziegler said officials want to get the vaccine doses out as soon as possible so they can release them as soon as they come in. With so little on offer, many people will be disappointed, he said, but at least everyone has an equal chance of getting an appointment.
Saur said he is currently able to 1. 000 doses a day as supplies become more regular and work on getting up to 2. 000 per day increase.
But “until the supply chains are well established… It’s going to be an on-off process, « he said, adding, » We’re working as fast as we can, but the offer isn’t there yet. ”
Vaccine, Manatee County, Coronavirus, Bradenton
World News – US – Officials are calling for patience with Sarasota-Manatee vaccine appointments difficult to obtain
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