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BOCA AREA HOSPITALS: Gov. DeSantis Has No Idea What He’s Talking About On COVID Vaccine

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis appearing at Kings Point in Delray Beach on December 30, 2020. (Courtesy

BY: ANDREW COLTON | Editor and Publisher

BOCA RATON, FL ( — We have heard from West Boca Medical Center. We have heard from Delray Medical Center. We have heard from Boca Raton Regional. And we’ve heard from Bethesda East and West. We’ve also heard from multiple senior citizens who have called all of these hospitals seeking the COVID-19 vaccine that Gov. DeSantis spoke of at Kings Point Wednesday morning.

The message repeated over and and over again: no, there is no way to sign up for a shot at Boca area hospitals at this point.

The message repeated over and and over again: no, there is no way to sign up for a shot at Boca area hospitals at this point.

Despite DeSantis’ announcement that seniors could call area hospitals to make appointments for the COVID vaccination, not one area hospital is apparently ready to deal with those requests. Angry, frustrated and upset senior citizens are calling and emailing, asking for help and wondering why DeSantis is apparently lying.

Wrote one reader: “After watching DeSantis this morning , he said if you want to sign up, call the local hospitals. I called both Boca Raton Regional and I called Delray Medical Center. Both told me me they are sorry the Governor said that because they will not be giving out vaccines. Very discouraging because there is no way to go, call to sign up to get a vaccine. They had months and months to prepare for this. Why can’t they do an online registration rather than phone calls that they are not prepared to handle?”

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Wrote another reader: “Governor DeSantis is incompetent. And ‘incompetent’ is putting it kindly. Considering the ridiculously high taxes we pay in PBC, this is unforgivable. I would suggest that some house cleaning is necessary. Looking at upcoming elections now.”

Posing as a senior citizen, called several area hospitals and received the same responses time and time again. No one has any idea when area hospitals will be accepting reservations. Those answering the phones are annoyed that the Governor told the public to call. There has been no official statement from Baptist — which runs Boca Raton Regional as well as Bethesda East and West, or Tenet, which runs Delray Medical Center and West Boca Medical Center.

DeSantis appeared at Kings Point in Delray Beach Wednesday morning where 300 people received COVID shots as part of a photo op. The Governor told Palm Beach County’s senior citizen population to just call area hospitals to set up appointments. But not one hospital is ready to schedule shots. DeSantis also told people to reach out to the Department of Health in Palm Beach County, apparently unaware that the local office was so unprepared for vaccine scheduling that the phone system shut down when it was overrun by callers.

It took just 150 calls to shut down the system in a county known for its elderly population.

Department of Health Spokesperson Alexander Shaw has not responded to a request for information from It remains unclear why there is no online scheduling system, or when the system will be available to schedule shots for seniors.

Here is the message currently on the Health Department’s website:

Thank you for contacting the Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County (DOH-Palm Beach), and for your interest in the COVID-19 Vaccine.

While we are encouraged to see a high demand for persons over 65 years of age to get vaccinated, our appointment line is currently overwhelmed, but the number (561-625-5180) is correct.

You may either email us at or call back next week.

If you email us, or have emailed already we will get back to you to schedule an appointment based upon availability and in the order received. Please include your name, phone number, and date of birth.

We are working on expanding our infrastructure to handle the high demand we are experiencing. Please be patient, everyone who wants a vaccine will be able to get one.

Please do not show up at any of our Florida Department of Health locations for a vaccine, or to request an appointment. This should all be done by phone or email.

DOH-Palm Beach will concentrate on fulfilling all current appointments as well as completing our vaccination of frontline health care workers who will be vaccinating patients themselves.

Make sure you speak with your primary care provider to answer any questions you have about the vaccine before you receive it.

What’s your experience? Let us know. Use the form, below. If you’re reading in a news app, click here.

Click or drag a file to this area to upload.


Paul Saperstein


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