Orange County Convention Center halts first doses of COVID-19 vaccine

It's the start of a new phase at the Orange County Convention Center as its stops giving first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

County health officials say it's so important for people to continue showing up for their second shots.

"Your best chances to get full immunity is by getting your second dose of Moderna or Pfizer," said Orange County Health Director, Dr. Raul Pino.

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Officials say they will close the convention center site entirely by May 22.

The county will be opening smaller vaccination sites at the following gymnasiums:

  • Goldenrod Park Recreation Center: 4863 N Goldenrod Road, Winter Park
  • Meadow Woods Recreation Center: 1751 Rhode Island Woods Circle, Orlando
  • South Econ Recreation Center: 3850 S Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando
  • West Orange Recreation Center: 309 SW Crown Point Road, Winter Garden

All of those locations will open on Tuesday.

RELATED: Orange County rolls out 3-phase plan to do away with face masks

"I think it’s going to help out to reach pockets of the population that have not maybe been able to get to the convention center because we are going to move into the neighborhoods. Now we are going to have fixed shops in the neighborhoods," Pino said.

People getting the shot at the convention center on Saturday said they were helping save lives.

"I like to hang out with my friends and I live with my grandma, so it's kind of important that I stay safe throughout all this," said Brie Quisumbing.

"This is not the flu," said David Keaton, who also got vaccinated there today, "this is the real deal and we should take it seriously."

Starting Saturday, the county's Barnett Park is also offering a new site to get free, walk-up COVID-19 vaccinations. That's open seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.