TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — There are new details about Florida's planned statewide vaccine registration system. Health officials are rolling it out after frustration from seniors getting shots.
Florida's current vaccine effort means signing up for shots depends on where you live. Different hospitals and different counties are all using different systems, causing complaints of slowdowns, site crashes and limited availability.
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"I know it feels chaotic," said Florida Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz, who spoke to lawmakers Thursday. "Sixty-seven different counties, systems interpretations, but health care is delivered at the local level. It is a decentralized effort."
Moskowitz promised the registration system would help and expected it would be online soon. Our questions to Florida Health on when, who'll have access, and what users can expect haven't yet been returned.
We gleaned some additional insight from Deputy Health Secretary Dr. Shamarial Roberson. She told senators this week the system has started as a pilot program in a few counties. If successful, she said, it will be offered to any that want it.
"We hope to have it available in the coming weeks so that counties may opt into the solution and help with some of these problems we are hearing about," Roberson said.
State officials also said the registration issues would further be alleviated when more vaccine was available. That would allow for more shot sites to open, decreasing demand on those already operating.
"There are a number of vaccines in phase-three clinical trials," Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees said Wednesday. "We anticipate we will have other vaccines in the future."
Florida is holding out a lot of hope for the upcoming Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The single shot is still in trials, but experts said it could be ready as soon as next month.