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500 seniors receive first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in Riviera Beach

'I'm in heaven because I finally got it,' resident says
Posted at 7:07 PM, Jan 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-17 23:24:57-05

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. — Five hundred Riviera Beach residents received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine Sunday.

"I just think you're doing it for yourself, but you're also doing it for your neighbors and your friends and your family," resident Carol Vaugh said.

The clinic at the Wells Recreation Center, put on by local and state leaders, was held to help increase access to the vaccine for the minority population.

"Eighty to 85% were Black people who had not had an opportunity to get the vaccine either through the county's programs or trying to make that phone call to try and register," state Sen. Bobby Powell, D-West Palm Beach, said. "They didn't have access."

Vaughn said she'd been trying to get an appointment for weeks.

"I had my name in a couple places, so when we got this today, I was like, 'Yes, finally,'" she said.

Vaughn said she has not seen her grandchildren or children in months due to the pandemic and that receiving the first dose is a step towards reuniting with them.

"I'm in heaven because I finally got it," resident Zoila Sanchez said.

Sanchez said even though she has now received the first dose of the vaccine, she and the rest of the community must continue to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines until more doses are available.

"We have to continue using masks and stay six feet apart," Sanchez said. "We still continue doing that."

Powell said it's unclear when more doses will become available.

"Right now, it's a matter of supply and demand," he said. "There is more demand than there is supply. But as it turns around and there's more supply, we're going to make sure that everybody who wants a vaccine gets a vaccine."