PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Palm Beach County leaders on Friday showed off a new mass COVID-19 vaccination center at the South Florida Fairgrounds.
Officials said the site will officially open on Feb. 10 with a limited number of vaccinations. Once the location is fully up and running, a maximum of 7,000 doses will be able to be administered every day.
"Once that supply chain opens up to a very healthy amount, this county is very well resourced, we're well prepared," Mayor Dave Kerner said. "We have an excellent infrastructure and logistical plan."
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The mayor called the South Florida Fairgrounds, located on Weisman Way near West Palm Beach, one of many large facilities that will be set up in Palm Beach County to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to residents.
"This, as you will see, is a more convenient, centralized venue for residents in our mid-western communities," said Darcy Davis, the CEO of the Health Care District of Palm Beach County, which will operate the site.
Davis said the Fairgrounds location will include air conditioned tents where the vaccine will be given, as well as kiosks to improve the registration process.
The Health Care District still needs to finalize some technology, connect power, and install signage before vaccinations can begin.
"We're ready. Our teams are ready as vaccine starts to flow into the county," Davis said. "We stand ready to expand vaccinations to help as many as we can, as quickly as we can."
Officials said that as more supply of the COVID-19 vaccine comes to Palm Beach County over the next several months, officials will open fixed vaccination centers in southern, central, northern, and western regions of the county, as well as mobile pop-up sites.
"The same concept that we've used really for testing," Kerner said.
The mayor admitted that county leaders understand the public's frustration with the supply chain, which has been slower than anticipated on both local and state levels.
"That's not something that the states can control. That's a federal government issue," Kerner said.
Earlier this week, Palm Beach County health director Dr. Alina Alonso said the county is starting to receive a larger supply of the vaccine, but it needs even more consistent and increased levels.
Florida as a whole got around 40,000 additional doses of the vaccine from the federal government this week.
According to the latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health, 174,573 people have received the vaccine in Palm Beach County, which is second only to Miami-Dade County where 185,755 have been inoculated.