ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Orange County leaders keep pushing the state and federal government for more vaccine doses, but they cannot keep up with demand, they said Friday.
What You Need To Know
- Appointments for vaccinations at Orange County Convention Center filled through January 20
- About 59,000 appointments are scheduled, officials say
- Doses are allocated by the State of Florida, Orange Mayor Jerry Demings says
- About 2,000 people a day are receiving vaccinations at convention center
The vaccination site at the Orange County Convention Center is busy, with no signs of slowing.
“Right now, we have 59,000 appointments already scheduled, and we are solidly booked until the [January] 20th,” Dr. Raul Pino, the Florida Health Department officer in Orange County, said.
About 2,000 people a day are being vaccinated at the convention center site, Pino said, but that’s not nearly enough to meet the demand of people over the age of 65.
“We still have a long way to go,” Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said.
The health department in Orange County will get 40,000 more vaccines next week — 20,000 of both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, Pino said.
A lot more could be distributed at the convention center site, but the state allocates the doses, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said.
“We acquired freezers where we could effectively store hundreds of thousands of doses,” Demings said.
Governor Ron DeSantis said the state is only set to receive 250,000 vaccines for the whole state next week. He said he asked the federal government to double that, but so far officials have not indicated that will happen.
Many doctors and clinics in Orange County are willing to help vaccinate people, but there are no doses to give them, Demings said.
“We simply don’t have the supply,” Demings said. “So there’s a resource that goes untapped in our community.”
Demings said he believes the process would go a lot more quickly and smoothly if the middle man could be cut out.
“If we were able to get our allocations directly, we’d be rolling here in this county,” he said.
People cannot walk up to the convention center site, or come on a bike or motorcycle, only in a car, Pino said.
For those over 65 who can’t drive to the Orange County Convention Center, Orange County firefighters and paramedics are making vaccine visits to senior living communities. They already know where many of these people live as part of their emergency evacuation plan, Demings said.