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Supply problems prevent fire departments in Palm Beach County from vaccinating seniors

More first-round doses not expected soon
Posted at 6:29 PM, Feb 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-01 18:36:31-05

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Some local fire departments say they are ready to vaccinate seniors and homebound neighbors against COVID-19, but that has been postponed because of a lack of supply.

SPECIAL COVERAGE: Coronavirus

Delray Beach Emergency Manager Chris Bell said his fire department can vaccinate at least 3,000 people a week against COVID-19, but that's only if they have the vaccine.

"We've received more than 3,000 calls in the last three weeks, specifically looking for vaccine, and it's heartbreaking for us," Bell said.

The department recently inoculated 200 people in under six hours after receiving a limited number of doses.

Contact 5 asked Bell what he has been told about more vaccines arriving.

"Right now, unfortunately, we're all in the same boat. Right now, there's just not enough vaccine," he said.

Contact 5 has learned several fire departments in Palm Beach County were told last week not to expect any more first-round doses anytime soon.

"We found out, about a week ago, not to expect in the near future or until at least the supply opens up. We're not to expect any more vaccine to provide to the public," Bell said.

Dan Brogan, Delray Beach senior still unable to get vaccine appointment
Dan Brogan of Delray Beach has still been unable to get a COVID-19 vaccine appointment but says he will keep trying.

Dan and Mary Lou Brogan walked into the fire station looking for the vaccine or any guidance.

"My wife and I are both concerned. We're in that age bracket where you're very susceptible," Dan Brogan said. "We've been on the Palm Beach County website. We've been trying to get on Publix, but we get shutdown within five to six minutes."

Meanwhile, Bell worries about what this means for some seniors who are homebound.

"The department would be able to go out to their homes, provide vaccination for them and anybody in the household who's over 65. Unfortunately, we don't have enough supply right now," he said.

And with no new vaccines at the fire department, the Brogans, like so many others, are now forced to wait.

"There's an old saying, 'When the going gets tough, the tough get going.' You just keep trying. What else can you do?" Brogan said.

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