Confused about your second COVID vaccine dose at Hard Rock Stadium? There’s a plan

Michelle Marchante

Suraj Hemnani was happy. His 70-year-old father got his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens on Friday.

They arrived early for his 8 a.m. appointment. It was the stadium’s first official day for vaccinations and the wait was long — Hemnani’s father was vaccinated by 11 a.m.

Then came the confusion.

“We asked every person during the process about scheduling the next dose and they all said they had no idea,” Hemnani said.

In Florida, the two vaccines that are currently available — Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna — require two doses, several weeks apart.

What’s the process for your second COVID-19 vaccine appointment?

Every vaccination site in South Florida is different.

The drive-thru sites managed by the Florida Department of Health in Broward County schedule the second appointment on-site after you receive the first dose. In Miami-Dade County, many of the sites will text or email you about a follow-up, according to Miami Herald news partner CBS4.

At Hard Rock Stadium, a site expected to vaccinate 1,000 people a day, the plan was for workers to schedule your second appointment and give you a vaccination card, the Miami Herald has reported. Hemnani’s dad received his card, but no appointment. Others reported similar issues.

“Given the limited supply and scheduling options, we were very concerned that my father wouldn’t receive the second dose within the right time frame — or that we’d spend the next three weeks refreshing websites and dialing hotlines,” Hemnani said.

Florida’s Division of Emergency Management, the department tasked with the state’s vaccine distribution, clarified the stadium’s appointment process to the Miami Herald this week.

Healthcare workers and senior citizens who get vaccinated will have their contact information uploaded into SHOTS, a system the state is using to keep track of who is getting a vaccine and when their next dose needs to be.

Patients will then be contacted, either by phone or email, about two weeks after their first dose to schedule their booster shot, spokeswoman Samantha Bequer said in an email. She said Hard Rock Stadium will eventually be able to schedule the second appointment on-site but that the process is still in the works.

Hemnani is relieved to know his father will be getting his second appointment. But he said someone could have told him sooner.

“I wish this information was more readily available.”