Published On: Wed, Dec 30th, 2020

COVID Vaccine Update from Your PBC Commissioner

By Robert S Weinroth

We understand many of our stakeholders have been trying to reach the Florida Department of Health to make an appointment to be inoculated against COVID-19 but have been unable to get through.

Our office disseminated the phone number provided by the health department (561.625.5180) but we have been advised they can only handle around 150 call an hour but with over 300,000 seniors in Palm Beach County the phone lines are jammed.

This morning, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis joined County Mayor Dave Kerner and county health director, Dr Alina Alonso, at the Kings Point community in Delray Beach to provide an update on the state plan for distributing the vaccines being offered under an Emergency Use Authorization issued by the FDA.

The Governor stated the vaccines are being targeted where the risk is the greatest — our elderly population. 

This is Week 3 of the vaccines’ availability.  The first doses of the vaccines are going to healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities. 

The Florida Department of Health is the lead agency in deploying the vaccine 

The Governor stressed the demand exceeds supply at this time. “We know there is a crush of people interested,” he said. “If you are over 65, you will get access. It may not be today or next week but as long as there is supply you will have the opportunity to get them.”

DeSantis said the vaccines go directly to hospitals and health departments from the federal government but are earmarked by the state. Vaccine demand is higher than testing demand. 

Acknowledging that seniors who want the vaccine have overwhelmed hospitals and the county health department, DeSantis promised the state will support the local efforts to vaccinate our residents.

Please be patient. Our office will continue to provide the information on vaccine distribution as we receive it. 

The county health department has the primary responsibility for deploying the vaccine and your county staff is working to support those efforts. 

Points of Distribution (PODS) will be established throughout the county to facilitate the orderly vaccination of our residents. 

About the Author

- Robert Weinroth is a 27 year resident of Boca Raton where he is an attorney, businessman, former member of the City Council (where he served for four years) and currently serves as an elected member of the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners. Commissioner Weinroth went to Boston’s Northeastern University where he earned a BSBA in Management. He went on to earn his Juris Doctor at New England School of Law. He is admitted to practice law in Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey and the Supreme Court of the United States. Weinroth served as president and general counsel of Freedom Medical Services Inc, an accredited medical supply company in Boca Raton. FREEDOMED® represented the realization of an entrepreneurial dream. Weinroth, and his wife Pamela operated the company for 16 years, eventually selling the business in 2016. Weinroth takes great pride in his past work as a volunteer Guardian ad Litem for the 15th Judicial Circuit, advocating for the needs of abused and neglected children deemed dependent by the Court. After serving on multiple community boards and committees, Weinroth was elected to the Boca Raton City Council in 2014. During his tenure, he served as CRA Vice-chair and Deputy Mayor and was appointed to a number of county boards including the Boca Raton Airport Authority, the Palm Tran Service Board, the Palm Beach Transportation Planning Agency, the Treasure Coast Planning Council and was elected a board member of the Palm Beach County League of Cities. Commissioner Weinroth serves as County Vice-Mayor and has been appointed Chair of the Solid Waste Authority, a board member of the PBC Transportation Planning Agency, and alternate representative on the Treasure Coast Planning Agency and several other county and regional boards. Robert, Pamela and their two dogs, Sierra and Siggy, are proud to call Boca Raton home.

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