101st Airborne arrives in Orlando to assist with FEMA vaccine distribution

Soldiers from the 101st Airborne arrived in Orlando on Friday to assist in running a mass vaccination site.

They have worked in combat zones, defending our country. Now, these soldiers are getting ready for the next mission that brings them to Central Florida.

"Really, all the prep work that goes into a normal deployment is the prep work we’re doing for this one here," Capt. Johnathan Gagne said.

A team of approximately 130 soldiers flew to Orlando from Fort Campbell, Kentucky to support the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) vaccination centers located at Valencia College’s West Campus, at 1800 S Kirkman Rd. The West Campus COVID vaccination center will open on March 3 and will operate 7 days per week, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m., and is expected to remain open for at least eight weeks. 

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"Essentially, we’re going to show up and we’re going to put vaccines in arms," Capt. Gagne said.

They will administer about 3,000 shots a day for people in Orlando’s underserved communities.

The soldiers have done vaccinations on their military base in Kentucky, but they’ve never left the state to run a vaccination site. They said this opportunity is a little different than what they’re used to.

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"Being in the military, a lot of times we’re asked to do our jobs overseas and go somewhere else and it’s great that we’re able to stay here on American soil and give back to the community," Capt. Gagne said.

If you would like to book an appointment to be vaccinated at this new vaccination site, you have to do it using the state’s appointment website.

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