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Palm Beach County holds virtual COVID-19 vaccine town hall

County officials discuss vaccine distribution, answer questions from residents
Posted at 6:44 PM, Jan 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-21 23:52:23-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Palm Beach County's virtual COVID -19 town hall kicked off at 7 p.m. Thursday. The questions from people watching came quick and fast -- questions like the challenge of distributing the vaccine.

"The problem and the biggest hindrance in terms of getting the vaccine is the supply of the vaccine," Dr. Alina Alonso said.

Alonso said their first distribution from the state was 20,000 vials for the entire county. She said it was eventually cut to just under 3,000 over time.

As of Thursday, Alonso said, more than 100,000 people have been vaccinated, but it's not equitable.

"The makeup of that is 75% are over the age of 65 and only 3% Black and about 4% Hispanic," she said.

Panelist Dr. Kitonga Kiminyo dispelled the myth that the vaccines were created too quickly and ineffective.

"While it seems that it was produced quickly, it is no less efficient and no less safe," he said.

He went on to say the vaccines are not 100%, suggesting that people still use preventive measures such as face-coverings to social distancing.

When it comes to protecting teachers and staff, school board member Dr. Debra Robinson spoke on the topic.

"The most reassurance I can give you is that we're working on it," she said. "The board did agree to direct the superintendent to advocate to get vaccines for our student-facing staff."