SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) -Local hospitals are stepping in to help distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to the community. This weekend Sarasota Memorial Hospital used their own supply of the vaccine to help vaccinate nearly 3-thousand people 65 and older.
“I felt it when I got the ticket, I felt it driving in this morning, I felt it walking into the hospital and tears were in my eyes,” said the first person to get vaccinated during SMH’s COVID vaccine distribution event,” said Aidan Farrell, who was the first to get vaccinated during the event this weekend.
“Some people are in tears being so thankful that they got the option to get vaccinated,” said the SMH Chief Operating Officer, Lorrie Liang.
There’s a big demand for a shot at this shot but one thing remains the same. “Our real issue is not enough vaccines for everyone that wants them,” said FL Department of Health in Sarasota, Chuck Henry.
Sarasota Memorial Hospital saved enough doses for their health care workers and with the need they saw in the community decided to distribute the rest.
“Are hoping that we’re saving lives. And that those individuals are not going to be admitted for the illness that comes with COVID,” said Liang.
County and hospital leaders urge people to be patient as they await more doses.
“We can’t encourage people enough to get your vaccine we want to encourage the government to get us vaccines to be able to give to the people,” said the President and CEO of SMH, David Verinder.
“I just hope many more people get to get this opportunity here in the community,” said Farrell.
SMH representatives say everyone who got their first dose of the vaccine this weekend already have appointments for four weeks from now with the hospital for their second round. As for more events like this weekend, SMH representatives say they’ll continue to evaluate how they can help the community as they get more doses of the vaccine.