MIAMI (NewsNation) — Tropical Park in Miami is normally known for jogging or shooting hoops, but now it’s a one-stop shop for COVID tests, vaccines, and Regeneron. There’s no line for the vaccine or for the test, but there is a two-hour wait for Regeneron—the monoclonal antibody treatment for people who have already tested positive.
Many of the people showing up are very sick. COVID patients are told to wait in their cars for the Regeneron. One woman said she’d been waiting two hours.
“It hurts to breathe,” Yasmine Alvey, who’s waiting for Regeneron, said. “It hurts to talk. My head feels like it is going to explode. My body is numb. Everything hurts.”
Almost everyone there said they hadn’t gotten vaccinated. On Monday, the same day the FDA gave its full stamp of approval to the Pfizer vaccine, an entire field in Miami was full of COVID patients waiting in cars to be treated with Regeneron.
Pfizer is the first of the three vaccines authorized in the U.S. to get fully, non-emergency approval. “If you are one of the millions of Americans who said they will not get the shot until it has full and final approval of the FDA, it has now happened,” said President Joe Biden. He said he hopes it will push hundreds of millions of unvaccinated people to finally roll up their sleeves.
The FDA approval could also pave the way for companies to mandate the vaccine. “Require your employees to get vaccinated,” Biden suggested.
But that comes too late for most of the people waiting in Tropical Park, including Saul Alvey, who’s unvaccinated. “My mandate actually came into effect today,” Alvey told NewsNation. “It was like, ‘OK, once the mandate was in effect, let’s get it in there.’ But now I got COVID well over 16 days ago.”
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