Orange County holds COVID-19 vaccine event for school employees

The Orange County Convention Center has been ground zero for testing in Orange County. Their attention now has turned towards vaccination efforts though.

The vaccination site is able to distribute about 2,500 doses a day. Those who want a shot must be a Florida resident and 65 years of age or older. Appointments are required and can be made on the Orange County website when supply is available.

The most recent state data shows that more than 58,000 shots have administered at the Orange County Convention Center already and that 12,000 people have gotten both their first and second doses already. 

County officials told FOX 35 that it is important that people continue to follow the CDC safety guidelines to keep from spreading the disease, like wearing a mask, washing your hands, and watching your distance. 

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A special vaccination event is being held at the Orange County Convention Center on Sunday for the county's school employees. If you work for Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) and are 65 or older, you can get an appointment to get your vaccine on Sunday. Those who want to participate must bring their state ID and OCPS ID. 

"I am delighted," said Debbi D'Arville, a staff member at Dream Lake Elementary. "This is something that needs to be for everybody in the school system."

County health officials said more than 400 OCPS faculty and staff signed up.

"The district made it possible to have a POD [point-of-distribution] for OCPS teachers and all employees from cafeteria workers, custodians, everyone who's over age 65 to be vaccinated, today," said Wendy Doromal, the Orange County Teachers' Union president.

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Because of state rules, registrants had to meet the age requirements of being 65 or older to get the shots. It was something school staff said should be extended to all of them.

"We are interacting with so many students, and there's a lot of people with immune-deficiency who work in the school system that need it," D'Arville said.

Kent Donahue, Orange County Health Dept. spokesman, said they were working to get that done, telling FOX 35 that "we're moving closer to mass-vaccination, probably March and April, this year, we're slowly moving the correct proper direction, we're following the state's vaccination distribution plan."

Teachers said that could not come soon enough.

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"As cases are rising, the positivity rate is rising and we know that there is a new strain of the virus that's more contagious, it's really important that employees get vaccinated," Doromal added.

The event for school employees goes from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Tune in to FOX 35 Orlando for the latest Central Florida news.