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Commissioner to Department of Health: Let's not repeat mistakes in COVID-19 vaccine rollout

Palm Beach County commissioner calls vaccine sign-up plan too complicated
File photo of the COVID-19 vaccine produced by Pfizer.jpg
Posted at 10:17 PM, Feb 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-22 23:44:53-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — In a letter to the state-run Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County, Commissioner Gregg Weiss said the initial vaccine sign-up plan was too complicated for those 65 and older and was not inclusive of senior citizens who do not have internet access or those who speak little or no English.

Read the letter below:

Weiss also said the Department of Health needs to do a better job transferring data to the Health Care District of Palm Beach County, the agency that took over managing the long waiting list of seniors wanting shots.

Contact 5 reported last week that the Health Care District received a waitlist of 60,000 and District Director Darcy Davis said the list only had e-mails. Davis said the list did not have people's names, phone numbers or dates of birth, making it difficult for many to reach. That's why Weiss sent a letter to Department of Health Director Dr. Alina Alonso saying, "We have to do better."

"We want to get reassurance from the folks in charge of this that this won't happen again and that we're prepared," Weiss said.

Weiss said the system of distributing shots needs to get better as the vaccine becomes available to more people and new waiting lists will need to be created.

"We will look at this and get back to you as soon as we have more information," a Department of Health spokesman said Monday in an email to Contact 5.