MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — One of the biggest COVID-19 testing locations in South Florida is being turned into a mass vaccination site, Gov. Ron DeSantis says.
A "soft opening" started on Wednesday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.
The governor said that over the next couple of days, the stadium will offer two lanes for residents 65 and older to drive up and get vaccinated. Officials will monitor the progress and the site is expected to fully open on Friday.
"We're gonna monitor how today goes, how tomorrow goes, just to make sure that everything is going well," DeSantis said. "We're gonna be expanding it and providing the general public with ways that they can get appointments."
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No details have been released yet for how people can make appointments to get vaccinated at Hard Rock Stadium starting on Friday.
DeSantis said the patients getting vaccinated on Wednesday were from local senior communities, as well as retired firefighters and police officers.
"It was a combination of reaching out to senior communities, saying we're gonna do a demonstration project, are you interested?" DeSantis said. "It was just basically, let's get it through, let's see what happens."
The governor said health care workers will give a minimum of 1,000 shots per day at Hard Rock Stadium when the operation is fully up-and-running.
Residents won't have to leave their cars. After getting the vaccine, patients will pull over into a designated spot in the parking lot and wait for 15 minutes to make sure there are no side effects or complications.
"That's a pretty efficient way of delivering this, and I think it's gonna be very exciting," DeSantis said.
The governor added that state officials are working with Miami-Dade County and the Jackson Health System to turn Marlins Park into a mass COVID-19 vaccination site, as well as Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.
"This is yet another tool to be able to deliver vaccine," DeSantis said.