Walk-ups welcomed but confusion remains at FEMA vaccine site in Orlando

Some people said they were being turned away at the Federal Emergency Management Agency vaccine site at Valencia College's West Campus on Thursday due to confusion over eligibility and proper documentation.

Denise Fikar thought she was going to be leaving the FEMA site vaccinated, but she was one of those turned away.

"I brought in documentation, I went to the doctors yesterday and they gave me a form with the diagnosis on it but it wasn’t good enough," she said.

She had a doctor’s note but didn’t have a state form signed by a doctor, proving that she is medically at-risk. Fikar said her doctor wouldn’t sign it.

"They would not give me the state form and I need the state form to come here," said Fikar.

State Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando, told FOX 35 News that she is hearing much frustration.

"I think that the form has made things much more bureaucratic, I think a doctor’s note should have sufficed, versus a specific form," said Rep. Eskamani.

RELATED: All Florida teachers, daycare workers now eligible to get COVID-19 vaccine at CVS

Wednesday was the first day of operation for the federal site. There were 200 shots left over at the end of the day. Eskamani said it may be because the sites weren’t advertised well enough.

"I think the announcement was made super late and not enough people really knew that these FEMA sites were available to them, let alone in their neighborhood," said Eskamani.

Changing requirements and lack of information are why Eskamani believes there’s such confusion.

"I tried to compile information into a COVID-19 guide but it is changing by the hour, creating even more confusion for Floridians who just want to do the right thing and get vaccinated," she added.

The site was expected to administer all 2,000 doses Thursday.

If you are under 65 years of age and have a medical condition that makes you eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, you must get this form filled out and signed by a doctor.


Tune in to FOX 35 Orlando for the latest coronavirus news.