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As COVID-19 vaccine rollout expands to cities in Palm Beach County, frustration among seniors grows

4 cities received only 200 doses each this week
Map showing 200 COVID-19 vaccine doses going to Palm Beach Gardens, West Palm Beach, Delray Beach
Posted at 2:52 PM, Jan 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-15 18:46:00-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — COVID-19 vaccines are slowly trickling out to Palm Beach County cities and municipalities as wait lists grow and frustration among seniors mount.

Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Palm Beach Gardens, and West Palm Beach all received 200 doses of the vaccine, over a week after the town of Palm Beach was able to vaccinate 1,000 of its island residents.

"It's too little," West Palm Beach resident Brett Sorge said. "It's a drop in the bucket."

Sorge, 73, is among one of at least 100,000 seniors 65 and older in Palm Beach County on the wait list for the coronavirus vaccine.

Sorge emailed Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner on Jan. 8, expressing concern about the slow rollout of vaccines to residents in need.

Brett Sorge, 73-year-old West Palm Beach man still waiting on COVID-19 vaccine
Brett Sorge, 73, of West Palm Beach, is still waiting to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

"We are falling behind in Palm Beach County for getting vaccines," Sorge read from a letter he wrote. "I am 73 with underlying health conditions. If I lived in Miami-Dade (County), Broward (County) or Palm Beach City [sic], I would have already received the vaccine."

Hours after Contact 5 spoke with Sorge, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a new drive-thru vaccination site in Fort Lauderdale.

"What I'm discovering is that basically everybody that gets it is going outside of the county," Sorge said. "They're going down to Miami-Dade. They're going down to Fort Lauderdale."

RELATED: Gov. Ron DeSantis meets with Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner | Palm Beach County health director admits to 'very big problems' with COVID-19 vaccine rollout

West Palm Beach Fire Department Assistant Chief Brent Bloomfield is preaching patience.

"What we really need to focus on is being patient," Bloomfield said in an interview with Contact 5.

Bloomfield and his department were out in the community Friday, disbursing the 200 doses they received to inoculate residents against COVID-19.

West Palm Beach Fire Department Assistant Chief Brent Bloomfield preaches patience with COVID-19 vaccine
"What we really need to focus on is being patient," West Palm Beach Fire Department Assistant Chief Brent Bloomfield says.

"Our department is ready to go," he said. "We have been ready to go since October."

But the process is going to take some time.

"We have over 21,000 residents in the city that are over 65 years of age," Bloomfield noted. "We're all waiting for the same thing. We're all on the same team. We all want the same thing done."

Meanwhile, seniors like Sorge are forced to wait -- and wonder -- as COVID-19 continues to spread.

"We have no clue of what's going on, really," Sorge said. "We're totally in the dark. That's part of the problem with hope. You can only have hope when you're getting some statistics, some real details on what's going on."

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