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State Emergency Management Director Expects Vaccine Distribution To Get Better In Time

Some of the world's largest vaccine makers hope to bolster public confidence in a yet-to-arrive COVID-19 vaccine, pledging to follow strict safety protocols in the rush to respond to the pandemic. Here, a nurse practitioner administers a dose of flu vaccine in Key Biscayne, Fla.
Some of the world's largest vaccine makers hope to bolster public confidence in a yet-to-arrive COVID-19 vaccine, pledging to follow strict safety protocols in the rush to respond to the pandemic. Here, a nurse practitioner administers a dose of flu vaccine in Key Biscayne, Fla.

Floridians have been left confused and frustrated by the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine. While most expected a unified distribution plan the responsibility has been passed on to the state’s 67 local health departments—which has led to a patchwork of policies.

But Florida Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz says he thinks those kinks will soon get worked out. He spoke during a virtual press conference Wednesday.

Moskowitz says the scramble that’s happening during the first weeks of the vaccination distribution isn’t surprising.

"Well, obviously when you don’t have one person leading the effort now you have 300 plus hospitals, 67 different county health departments," said Moskowitz. "You have different plans, different procedures, different systems."

Moskowitz believes as departments try out different approaches they’ll look to their neighbors and learn from each other’s mistakes. For example, he says the state has learned from a Lee County approach that left senior citizens waiting outside in long lines—with some even camping out overnight.

"There are other counties that those plans have not worked out well. Lining people up outside, that is not what the plans call for in a first come first served concert ticket basis and that’s nothing the division nor the department of health up here told people to do," said Moskowitz. "In fact, we shut it down as soon as we were made aware of it."

Moskowitz says numbers so far numbers have been lowest among minority groups with 7% of the minority population who’ve had access to the vaccine having received it. He’s hoping to work with faith leaders to help encourage more African Americans and people of color to get the vaccine.
Copyright 2021 WFSU.