ORLANDO, Fla. — Florida is looking to make another big increase in vaccinations across the state this week.
Over the past week, there has been major progress among seniors as county health departments and hospitals started opening up appointments to people 65 and up.
State leaders are now trying to reach communities that have hardly received any vaccinations so far. One of those groups is Black Floridians.
According to the latest state report, only 5% of Florida’s vaccines have gone to Black people. That community makes up 16% of the state’s population.
The effort to reach them, and Hispanics in particular, will ramp up this week.
One example is Orlando Health, which starting Monday, is expanding access to the vaccine by moving its sites out of hospitals and into the community.
Orlando Health will be operating six new vaccine sites around Central Florida, including Lake Mary, Windermere, St. Cloud, Leesburg, Winter Garden and downtown Orlando.
They’re all Orlando Health medical buildings of some kind that will now be used to get more vaccines into arms.
Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Sunday morning the official start to the state’s church sites, in partnership with churches.
“We really believe that making sure these vaccines are getting into all segments of communities is important, and we think working with our houses of worship is one way that you can do that,” DeSantis said.
All this is happening against the backdrop of continuously increasing cases.
The vaccine will be available at the following locations:
- Orlando Health Emergency Room - Lake Mary, 380 Rinehart Rd., Lake Mary, FL 32746 Orlando
- Health Medical Pavilion - Summerport, 5151 Winter Garden Vineland Rd., Windermere, FL 34787
- Orlando Health - Health Central Park - Winter Garden, 411 N. Dillard St., Winter Garden, FL 34787
- Orlando Health Medical Pavilion - St. Cloud, 1330 Budinger Ave., St. Cloud, FL 34769
- Orlando Health Heart & Vascular Institute - Downtown Orlando, 1222 S. Orange Ave., Orlando, FL 32806
- Orlando Health South Lake Hospital Emergency Room - Blue Cedar, 22316 US Highway 27, Leesburg, FL 34748