Published On: Thu, Jan 7th, 2021

PBC Commissioner Robert S Weinroth Provides Update on Vaccine Rollout

Our County Administrator, Verdenia Baker, has offered the following update of the COVID-19 vaccinations in Palm Beach County.

Palm Beach County Division of Emergency Management (PBCDEM) is supporting State efforts of the Florida Department of Health Palm Beach County (FDOH) and the Health Care District of Palm Beach County (HCD) to vaccinate high priority populations in accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order number 20-315.

High priority populations include: front-line health care workers; long-term care residents and staff; and individuals 65 years of age and older.

The Governor’s Executive Order modified the original county strategy which incorporated CDC recommendations.  Therefore, the county and its partners have been required to modify distribution strategies to meet the requirements of EO-20-315.

The COVID-19 vaccination allotment and distribution of the vaccine is under control of the State of Florida through its Department of Health and the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

Our vaccination planning strategy is dependent on the vaccine supply level.

Vaccine supply has been limited since the beginning and likely will be limited for some time, so the initial allocation of doses has been focused on “high priority populations” with subsequent expansion to broader populations planned as supplies grow. 

L-R: Commissioner Maria L Sachs, County Mayor Dave Kerner and County Voce Mayor Robert S Weinroth

To date, there have been 18,565 doses of the vaccine administered in Palm Beach County. This figure has been reported by the Florida Department of Health in its COVID-19 Vaccine Report, a dashboard reflecting demographic data and the number of people vaccinated in each county. 

The FDOH received 20,000 doses on December 23, 2020, and subsequently received 4,500 on January 4, 2021.

Palm Beach County area hospitals received separate allocations directly from the State and must dispense according to the Governor’s Executive Order.

Long-term care facilities and nursing homes vaccinations are being managed under federal and state initiatives. 

As of Wednesday, approximately 6,000 doses have been distributed.

For any type of vaccination process to work efficiently, appointments are necessary (no spontaneous “walk up” arrangements).  

All patients receiving the vaccine must complete consent forms with pre-screening questions to be completed prior to arrival.

The following are current operations underway:

  • The Governor directed the allocation of vaccines to Kings Point in Delray Beach. The operation was started by FDOH and is being completed by a State incident management team.
  • The Governor directed the allocation of vaccines to Century Village in Boca Raton and the vaccinations are being completed by a State incident management team.
  • FDOH is currently vaccinating 500 people per day, including health care personnel and persons 65 years of age or older, that made an appointment through their email system. Emails sent into FDOH requesting a vaccination are being held in queue, and as vaccine doses become available, those individuals are beomg contacted by FDOH. Vaccination appointments are based on vaccine availability.
  • HCD is providing vaccinations to healthcare workers and their existing HCD patients through an appointment process. 
  • HCD mobile units are being deployed based on vaccine supply, vaccination priorities, demographics, and geographic distribution. 

Based on the Governor’s announcement on January 4, 2021, there will be some deployment by the State directly to churches in underserved communities. The county will support these effort as needed.

Federally Qualified Health Centers in the county will be receiving vaccines and will register the high priority population to provide vaccinations at their facilities.  

Please understand there is a wide disparity between the number of vaccine doses available and the number of “high priority” seeking a vaccination.

This disparity (between supply and demand) has meant there is currently not enough doses of the vaccine to implement a large-scale vaccination operation at this time.

As the vaccine supply increases over the next several months, vaccination efforts and vaccination strategy will be expanded. This strategy will utilize fixed regionally located vaccination centers, PODS (points of distribution sites), clinic operations, and mobile pop-up community sites. 

This journey has been unprecedented. We must not allow COVID-19 fatigue to win as we get closer to ending this pandemic.  We need to remain steadfast and not let our patience run thin after we have been so strong and resilient as we enter our eleventh month dealing with COVID-19.

If you are 65 years of age or older, remain tuned in for announcements from local health officials, federal, state and local government agencies, homeowners associations and other recognized community sources regarding vaccine availability.  Be prepared to utilize an on-line registration system or other alternative means to register. Do not respond to solicitations seeking payment to gain access to the vaccine. These are scams designed to take your money.

Continue to take precautions to avoid spreading or contracting the COVID virus.  Wear your mask and remember to avoid the “3 C’s” – crowded places, close contact, and confined and enclosed spaces. 

Finally, please be patient.  

The County Health Department expects to receive sufficient quantities of the vaccine in the weeks ahead to begin large scale vaccination efforts.  The Board of County Commissioners and the Health Care District of Palm Beach County are committed to the support of State efforts and the goal of getting as many of our residents vaccinated as quickly as possible.

Palm Beach County is ready, prepared and equipped to facilitate the mass distribution of vaccines. Our current challenge is in the lack of supply. It is our hope the vaccine will become more readily available for distribution in the coming weeks. 

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.

Displaying 3 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. Joe Nyin says:

    The county should allow CVS and Walgreens to give the vaccines. They both have excellent websites for scheduling appointments. You can require them to give shots to people who can prove their age and address with a driver’s license or passport.

  2. Gladys Simon says:

    When. I registered before the end of the year. I’m 91 years old.

  3. We are age 82 & 72 with underline Medicare problems. We are listed with Palm Beach County since Dec 18 And have never received a reply. Tel no. 561-212-1988
    Hoping to get a reply soon.
    Thank you
    Louise inhaber

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