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First Vaccinations In Florida, Ferry From Miami To Miami Beach, Aid For Small Businesses

Miami Herald
Dr. Aharon Sareli receives the first dose of the Pfizer BioNTech Vaccine at Memorial Specialty Pharmacy in Miramar, Florida on Monday, December 14, 2020.

We hear from a South Florida healthcare worker who's received a COVID-19 vaccine. A new ferry can take you from Miami to Miami Beach. And a deadline approaches for small businesses to apply for relief funds.

On this Tuesday, Dec. 15, episode of Sundial:

First Vaccinations In Florida

Florida can now add a vaccine to its arsenal against the COVID-19 pandemic. Healthcare workers in the state started receiving the first vaccinations against the virus Monday. More hospitals in the state are still receiving frozen vials of the Pfizer vaccine.

“It was definitely an exciting day in our lifetime to see a new vaccine like this developed so quickly. We are so excited to be able to take that vaccine first,” said Rachel Guran, the director of epidemiology and infection prevention at Memorial Healthcare System.

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Guran received her first dose of the vaccine Tuesday morning.

A vaccine is expected to be available for the majority of Americans by spring or summer of next year, according to federal officials.

“You are likely to experience some symptoms like a low-grade fever, after getting the vaccine. That's just your body starting the reaction to protect you. It's nothing that can't be taken care of with medication like Tylenol. We just need to be very clear about what would happen after you get the vaccine, but that it is very safe,” said Verónica Zaragovia, WLRN’s health care reporter.

She added that the only caveat of the vaccine is for those who have a history of severe allergic reactions to any ingredients included in the vaccine. People in that category should talk to their healthcare provider before being inoculated.

First Vaccinations In Florida
Vaccine Guidelines

Ferry From Miami To Miami Beach

Have you ever spent hours trying to go from Miami to Miami Beach? There’s a new transport option that doesn’t require getting in a car.

A private company called Poseidon Ferry is now offering a commuter ferry service from downtown Miami to South Beach every day on the hour.

“They want this to be for commuters. They want this to be for locals. Obviously, people visiting can use it and they're encouraged to use it, but they set it up in terms of where the stations are, how the pricing is to encourage locals to use it for locals. If you're a Miami-Dade County resident, it's $5 each way. And if you're a visitor coming from out of town, it'd be $10 each way,” said WLRN reporter Danny Rivero, who recently rode the ferry and spoke with the company behind the new mode of transportation.

You can check out more of Rivero’s reporting on the ferry here.

Ferry From Miami To Miami Beach
Poseidon Ferry Miami Beach.JPG

Help For Small Businesses

It’s been a rough year for small businesses. About 60% of businesses that reported closing since the start of the pandemic have no plans to reopen, according to Yelp’s Economic Impact Report.

The RISE Miami-Dade Fund has extended its deadline to Sunday, Dec. 20, for struggling small businesses to apply for financial aid.

The fund has millions of dollars in loans it needs to shell out before the end of the year.

“Everything from the nail salon to barber shops, to restaurants. I've seen even security businesses, a little bit of everything. The gamut is pretty broad. Everything that you can think of, your favorite local mom and pop to the local clothing store,” said MJ Green, the fund director of RISE Miami-Dade at the Dade County Federal Credit Union.

In order to apply, both the business owner and the business need to be located in Miami-Dade County. Businesses must have been in business for the past two years, have under fifty employees and under $5 million in revenue.

“These are people that have put up their own capital, sometimes their own family's capital, to start these businesses and have been successful for many years. Now, because of the virus and the shutdowns, they're feeling a lot of pressure. So we're really there to try to help them, to try to be an alternative option, to provide some capital that they can be able to really weather the storm,” Green said.

The money is considered a personally guaranteed loan, meaning it must be paid back.

Businesses can apply here.

Aid For Small Businesses

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Suria is Sundial's fall 2020 high school intern and a production assistant.
Leslie Ovalle produces WLRN's daily magazine program, Sundial. She previously produced Morning Edition newscasts at WLRN and anchored the midday news. As a multimedia producer, she also works on visual and digital storytelling.