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Some Seniors Are Leaving Palm Beach County For Vaccine Opportunities

Palm Beach County Health director Dr.Alina Alonso at the Emergency Operations Center
Palm Beach County Health director Dr.Alina Alonso at the Emergency Operations Center

As thousands of people in Palm Beach County wait in a vaccine queue, some seniors are journeying to neighboring counties in search of COVID-19 vaccine shots.

In Palm Beach County, seniors 65 and older who live outside of long-term care facilities are desperate for the COVID-19 vaccine.

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According to the Palm Beach Post, the unpredictable vaccine rollout by the state has forced some seniors to drive to neighboring Broward and Miami-Dade counties in search of the shot.

Speaking at a press conference Thursday, county health director Dr. Alina Alonso said the county’s limited supply of vaccines can’t keep up with the increase in demand.

According to the county's health department website, as of Friday afternoon, the telephone appointment line is full and is no longer accepting COVID-19 vaccine requests.

Due to high volume, the county's email contact — chd50feedback@flhealth.gov — will not send out the usual auto-response indicating it has received a senders vaccine appointment request. The county says "all emails are being received" and urge people not to send repeated emails.

There are thousands of people in the COVID-19 vaccine queue and it could take months before some people receive an appointment.

"We are presently working on transitioning to a new messaging system that will allow us to update everyone who has sent us an email so far," the department wrote. "These messages will be sent to the email address you used to contact us, not emails that you put into the body of the message."

"Vaccination appointments are based on vaccine availability."

Alonso said the health department is sending emails to seniors as soon as more vaccines become available.

Wilkine Brutus is the Palm Beach County Reporter for WLRN. The award-winning journalist produces stories on topics surrounding local news, culture, art, politics and current affairs. Contact Wilkine at wbrutus@wlrnnews.org
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