ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Coronavirus vaccines have been rolling out across Florida for two weeks now, and Channel 9 is helping you understand how the vaccine rollout will work in your county for people 65 and up.
Local leaders are starting with that high-risk group because of Gov. Ron DeSantis’s executive order.
In Orange County, the vaccine distribution will look a lot like the mass testing.
Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer got their shots just hours before hundreds of people in Orange County will finally be able to do the same.
“We want to demonstrate that we are united as a community to fight the coronavirus,” Demings said.
Soon, it may be your turn, or your father’s turn, or maybe your grandmother’s. Anyone 65 years old and up who lives in Orange County.
But how will it all work?
“The plan is to vaccinate 1,500 orange county residents each day,” Demings said.
You must have an appointment to get the shot at the convention center, which will be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The convention center is a drive-through site and when you register, you will be issued a card that will tell you exactly what lot to go to at your scheduled time.
You’ll then wait in a designated area after the vaccine, where EMS crews will monitor you for 15 minutes to make sure you don’t have any adverse reactions.
Orange County Health Officer Dr. Raul Pino said the plan will continue to evolve, because the goal is to “vaccinate as many people as quickly as possible because you want to create as quickly as you can herd immunity.”
Vaccination distribution for seniors at the convention center will run through Jan. 17 except for Friday, Saturday and Sunday this weekend for New Year’s Eve.
At the same time, the county is also doing what they called a “closed mobile pod,” meaning it’s limited to a certain number of people.
A strike team will offer the vaccine to residents 65 and older at 19 Section Nine housing complexes. Pino said it’s all in an effort to make sure low-income residents have access to the vaccine.
The county hasn’t given those addresses yet, but says residents will register independently. Leaders say the effort is paving the way for a promising 2021.
“With the new year comes new hope and much of it is thanks to the COVID-19 vaccine,” Dyer said.
The vaccine requires two doses. Pino said when someone makes their appointment or the first one, they will automatically be booked for a second does.
The county said it is trying to figure out how to get vaccines to seniors who may be homebound.