Federal vaccination sites expands eligibility to all teachers, daycare workers

Three federal COVID-19 vaccination sites across Florida are now open, but the one in Orlando had hundreds of doses left over after the first day.

Officials are now reminding eligible residents that while appointments are encouraged, they are not required. 

The site, located at Valencia College West Campus, opened Wednesday with 2,000 doses to give out. Only 1,800 were administered. 

Soldiers running the site told FOX 35 News that they believe things were slow because many probably assumed there would be a big rush of people on the first day. 

RELATED: Group protests outside of federal mass vaccination site

Rain also poured across Central Florida on Wednesday when the site opened. 

"There were some hiccups in the start of this morning, but like I said, it ticked like a clock after they worked out everything," Herro Blair of Pine Hills said.

RELATED: How to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Central Florida

The site is open 7 days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. You can make an appointment on the state's vaccination website, but appointments are not required. 

In addition to the site at Valencia, there are two satellite sites that will be run each day in underserved neighborhoods. Those sites are located at: 

  • Engelwood Neighborhood Center: 6123 La Costa Dr., OrlandoOffering appointments March 3-7, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. -- Walk-ins welcome
  • Kelly Park: 400 E. Kelly Park Rd., ApopkaOffering appointments March 7-10, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. -- Walk-ins welcome

The Englewood vaccination site reached capacity for the day by 3 p.m. and will reopen on Friday at 9 a.m.

Officials gave an update on the vaccination site on Thursday.

They expect to hit capacity at Valencia College on Thursday, despite low attendance the day prior.

Governor Ron DeSantis said that federal vaccination sites will follow federal guidelines for vaccinations now, meaning they will vaccine all teachers and daycare workers as well.

"The federal government put that order in and so they’ve made the teachers, regardless of age, eligible. So, they are eligible to get vaccinated per that order," he said. "You know our view is if you’re 25, you’re just at less risk than someone who’s 80. That’s just the bottom line."

He added that "the federal government’s the one sending us the vaccine" and that f they want it to be for all ages, then they have the ability to go and do that."

In regards to Florida's guidelines, DeSantis pushed forward his focus on vaccinating the elderly population first, citing that "our number one goal right now is to get through the senior population."

He also said that "you know our view is if you’re 25, you’re just at less risk than someone who’s 80. That’s just the bottom line."


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