Orange County Convention Center expanding access to COVID vaccine

All Florida residents 60-years-old and older will be able to get the COVID vaccine starting Monday, March 15.

Governor Ron DeSantis made the announcement Monday afternoon during a news conference. He said it is the right time to expand access to the vaccine because the state is starting to see a decrease in demand for the vaccines for people 65 and older.

DeSantis said, "I would imagine the demand will be slightly lower for 60 to 64 than it was for above 65. But, we still expect the demand to be pretty robust." The governor said more than 56 percent of Florida’s seniors 65 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Judy Roemer said she has been anxious to get the vaccine and is excited she will soon be able to make an appointment. "I hope it’s easy to get an appointment once we can/so we can go up north and visit our kids and grandkids."

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The Orange County Convention Center is also expanding access to the vaccine because the vaccination site has been operating under capacity.

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said, "This site can easily serve 3,000 people on a daily basis and we have been coming in significantly under that number." On Monday morning, Demings said there were 1,000 vaccine appointments available for Tuesday.

Staff at the vaccination site will now serve medically vulnerable people, firefighters and sworn law enforcement officers of any age. People previously only accepted at federal vaccine sites can now come to the convention center too.

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"Any educator or support staff member regardless of age including substitute teachers, bus drivers and daycare workers with valid ID can get vaccinated at this site," Mayor Demings said.

Demings said there will be around 10,000 vaccine appointments available in Orange County this week.

For more information on vaccine eligibility and to make an appointment, visit the Orange County website.

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