Orange County requesting to vaccinate medically vulnerable under 65 at convention center

The Orange County Convention Center is now accepting teachers and other school employees of all ages at the

Orange County officials said they are asking the state to open up COVID-19 vaccination appointments at the Orange County Convention Center to more people because it is currently operating under capacity.

"We’ve got plenty of vaccine appointments open," Alvina Chu with the Florida Department of Health in Orange County said Thursday afternoon. "The portal is open now and we have appointments available for this weekend as well as all of next week."

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said the convention center can handle up to 3,000 vaccinations a day, but the site has been operating below that number. The appointments used to fill up in less than an hour.

RELATED: CDC: If you get this side effect from the 1st COVID-19 vaccine dose, don’t get the 2nd dose

Mayor Demings said the county is now asking the Florida Department of Emergency Management if it can start offering appointments to people under 65 years-old who are extremely medically vulnerable. Demings said the convention center is a state-run vaccination site and must follow state orders for distributing the vaccine.

Currently, the staff at the site can vaccinate seniors, long-term care residents and staff, healthcare workers, law enforcement, firefighters, and school employees over 50 years-old.

Mayor Demings said he expects Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to update his executive order soon to include all K-12 employees to bring Florida in line with President Biden’s recent directive.

RELATED; Publix expands vaccine eligibility to all Florida teachers regardless of age

"The ultimate goal here is to increase the output of the number of individuals who are being vaccinated in our community," Demings said.

Chu said as of Thursday afternoon, about 10 percent of Orange County residents and 54 percent of seniors 65 and older have been vaccinated.

To make a vaccination appointment at the Orange County Convention Center visit Orange County’s website.

Tune in to FOX 35 Orlando for the latest news.