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State senator 'disappointed' Palm Beach County not part of initial vaccine distribution

Palm Beach County likely next in line to get it
Posted at 7:34 AM, Dec 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-16 10:15:58-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — As Floridians continue tracking the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine in the community, one state senator said she is disappointed Palm Beach County was not one of the first to receive it.

State Sen. Lori Berman, D-Boynton Beach, represents parts of Palm Beach County. She said she will get the COVID-19 vaccine when it is her turn in line.

"We were disappointed in Palm Beach County that we weren't one of the first five hospitals to get them," Berman said. "I have spoken with the Director of Emergency Management Jared Moskowitz and he has informed me that he thinks within the next week or so they will expand that list and Palm Beach County will be on the list. We have one of the highest numbers of elderly populations in our area also, but I'm confident that they are going to expand that list and we're going to be on the next round."

In fact, Dr. Alina Alonso, Palm Beach County's health director, said that help is on the way. She told county commissioners Tuesday that Palm Beach County is expected to receive 20,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine. That vaccine is expected to receive FDA approval by the end of the week and could follow a similar distribution timeline as the Pfizer vaccine.

"I also am concerned that we didn't get, the governor was disappointed we didn't get a greater number of the vaccines ,so I'm hopeful that the supply will be able to keep up with the demand," Berman said.

As for the five Florida hospitals that received the initial vaccine shipments, Berman said they were "chosen on some CDC criteria, is what I understand, and not based on where the vaccine was necessarily in the greatest numbers, because we have the third-highest incident of COVID in the state, and yet we were not one of the top five."

"They were also chosen looking at geographical diversity," she said.

The exact timeline of when the Moderna vaccine will arrive in Palm Beach County is not yet known.