"Holding a Commission seat
is not an honorary title. I will dedicate the time and energy to give our town the attention it deserves."
~ Deb Tarrant
Broward Department of Health Announces Vaccine Appointment Hotline
After a number of false starts, scheduling for vaccine appointments at the seven County-affiliated vaccination sites can now be done by phone!
Deb's Quarterly Newsletter
Dear Hillsboro Beach Neighbors:
Well, we survived the challenges of 2020, but 2021 has begun with challenges of its own. Although we’re all looking forward to a return to “normalcy” in terms of COVID-19 restrictions, the rollout of the vaccine has been plagued with issues. As a result, requirements for face masks and social distancing will remain in effect for some time.
Vaccine distribution has been hampered by supply limitations, inadequate technology, and a lack of trained medical personnel to staff additional vaccination sites. Another complicating factor is that vaccination sites are managed by a variety of entities, each with its own method for making appointments. At press time for this letter, there were nine sites in Broward County – six managed by the Florida Department of Health, one by the Florida Department of Emergency Management, and two hospitals (Cleveland Clinic and Memorial). A new scheduling system for the Broward Department of Health became available on January 21, allowing frontline healthcare workers and members of the public 65+ to schedule appointments by phone for seven of these sites. The phone number is 866-201-6313.
Appointment slots are released periodically without notice, and fill within minutes of being released. At this point, because demand exceeds availability so dramatically, the best/only way to get an appointment is to keep checking for availability. In many cases, Twitter feeds give advance notice of new appointment availability. If you use Twitter, you can set a notification alert for the Department of Health, and each time something is posted, you will be notified. The Twitter link for the Department of Health is: https://twitter.com/FLHealthBroward/.
In Palm Beach County, 67 Publix stores became distribution points on January 20. Information for appointments at these Publix locations can be found at:
Since before Christmas, Town Manager Mac Serda and I have been advocating with the Department of Health for a “micro-pod” vaccination site in Hillsboro Beach. More than ¾ of the Town’s population this time of year is over the age of 65. To date, without our own Fire/Rescue Department, we have not been able to secure the necessary clearance to establish a site. Commissioner Barbara Baldasarre, who is a Registered Nurse (retired) with an active license, has volunteered for training and to help administer vaccinations, however, an entire medical team is necessary. We are leaving no stone unturned, but the State’s requirements are extensive. Obviously, if there is a breakthrough, we will notify our residents with an email/Nixel announcement. In the meantime, please continue to pursue appointments as indicated above.
On another note, thank you to those residents who participated in the recent blood drive and the Shredding/Hazardous Waste Event at Town Hall, including disposal of prescription drugs and sharps. The turnout was excellent! A special thank you to Commissioner Baldasarre for being hands-on the day of the event and to Commissioner Vicky Feaman for initiating what has become a service appreciated by many of our residents.
Finally, please mark your calendars – Hillsboro Beach will hold a municipal election on March 9. The seats currently held by Commissioner Baldasarre, Commissioner Feaman, and myself will be on the ballot. Please come out to vote on March 9 at Town Hall!