School employees of all ages able to receive COVID-19 vaccine at Orlando FEMA vaccination site

ORLANDO, Fla. — Officials confirmed Thursday that teachers and school employees of all ages are able to get the COVID-19 vaccine at the federally run COVID-19 vaccination site in Orlando.

When the site, located at Valencia College’s West Campus, first opened on Wednesday, it was only vaccinating people ages 65 and older and teachers, police officers and firefighters age 50 and over.

READ: New FEMA COVID-19 vaccination site in Orlando opens for walk-up vaccines

The change on Thursday came after Gov. Ron DeSantis said in a news conference that school employees of any age could be vaccinated at FEMA sites.

Channel 9 spoke with several teachers on Thursday under the age of 50 who received their vaccine at the Orlando-area vaccination sites after showing their school IDs.

READ: FEMA opens mobile COVID-19 vaccination sites to reach underserved communities

Orange County Public Schools sent out an email to employees Thursday letting them know the news.

“I actually went home crying, I was in tears and that announcement today just made it… I was happy, you just don’t understand. I wish you could see my smile right now,” West Orange High School teacher Yukeeba Mays said.

READ: CVS, Walmart & Publix offering COVID-19 vaccines to all teachers, school employees

Elementary school teacher Maresa McNeill said she too was almost brought to tears hearing she’d be able to receive the vaccine.

“I was so excited, literally almost cried because I’ve got a daughter that I have to consider and I have a senior mom so I definitely feel more confident coming in to work now and going around my family,” McNeill said.

The FEMA site at Valencia College is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily dolling out up to 2,000 doses a day.

READ: Here’s the form medically vulnerable Floridians need to fill out to get a vaccine

There is also a federally run site at Engelwood Neighborhood Center, which is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. though Sunday able to vaccinate up to 500 people a day. The site closed around 2:30 p.m. Thursday after meeting capacity.

A new FEMA site will open at Kelly Park on Sunday and remain open through March 10 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

There are no appointments at these federally run sites. Vaccines are given on a first-come, first-served basis.

Skywitness 9 flew over the Valencia College site Thursday morning. See that footage below:

WATCH LIVE: Long lines are forming at a local FEMA vaccination site

WATCH LIVE: Long lines are forming at a local FEMA vaccination site. READ >>> at.wftv.com/3e2oiHj

Posted by WFTV Channel 9 on Thursday, March 4, 2021

Watch Channel 9 Eyewitness News for the latest updates on this developing story.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.