‘Unacceptable’: Volusia County councilwoman pushes for COVID-19 vaccine distribution changes after seniors wait in cars overnight

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The Volusia County COVID-19 vaccine distribution event reached capacity early Tuesday after seniors camped out in their cars overnight in 40 degree temperatures outside Daytona Stadium hoping to get a dose of the Moderna vaccine.

By 6:45 a.m., the vaccination site reached capacity for its 1,000 first-come-first-served vaccines.

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Volusia County Council member Heather Post said the way the distribution has been handled is “unacceptable” and “appalling.” Post said she sent a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis, the county health department and the state department of health asking what happened saying there’s no excuse for it.

“There were obviously better proven best practices,” Post said.

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Flagler and Seminole counties are doing their vaccine distribution by appointments, and so will the new clinics opening up in Deltona and DeLand.

Post is asking for someone from the county’s department of health to come to Thursday’s council meeting and lay out a plan so it does not happen again.

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The department of health said it did not believe its system could handle all the appointments and calls and it also did not want to delay getting this vaccine out to people. Officials said Tallahassee is working on a system for appointments.

On the first day of the event, hundreds of cars parked along LPGA Boulevard. It looked a little different Tuesday morning as officials opened the gates at 7 p.m. Monday.

City officials said they hoped the change would keep overnighters off the surrounding roadways and alleviate early morning traffic congestion on surrounding roads.

As of 6:45 a.m., the COVID-19 vaccine distribution site at Daytona Stadium on LPGA Blvd. reached capacity for today’s...

Posted by The City of Daytona Beach Government on Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Vaccines were administered starting at 9 a.m.

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Those who received the vaccine will get a second dose on Feb. 2.

This vaccination distribution event will not be the last in Volusia County. Health officials said there will be additional public vaccination sites across Volusia County as more vaccines become available over the days and weeks ahead.

READ: Analysis: Florida’s COVID-19 vaccination rate outpacing new infections, but needs improvement

City officials said the vaccination sites will rotate through areas on both sides of Volusia County to improve access for everyone.

Katlyn Brieskorn, WFTV.com

Katlyn Brieskorn is a Digital Assignment Editor at WFTV. She joined Channel 9 in July 2019.

Q Mccray

Q McCray, WFTV.com

Q McCray is an award-winning general assignment reporter.