Seminole County says they are prepared for COVID-19 vaccines

Seminole County Emergency Management Director Alan Harris spent Wednesday morning making sure they are prepared for the COVID-19 vaccine once it gets government approval. 

He hosted a conference call for everyone who will be directly involved when they roll out phase 1A. He told FOX 35 "we had individuals from Walgreens, all four hospitals, the Florida Department of Health, fire services and emergency management. We talked about closed and open dispensing.  Closed for priority groups."

Harris said that right now, health care workers in COVID-19 units are the first on the list for the vaccine in Florida. They are splitting out roughly 178,000 vaccines among five different hospitals in the first push towards the five hospital systems.

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AdventHealth is one of those hospitals. They will be the first ones to receive the vaccine, as well as Tampa General, two hospitals in South Florida, and one in Jacksonville.

"Then the next batch will come,” Harris said. 

Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine needs to be stored at -90 degrees Farenheight. Seminole County already has four special freezers on hand and strategically located. 

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“We’ll receive the vaccine. It’ll be put into four different ultra-cold freezing locations. Those are dispersed around the county. Then, those will be moved with dry ice container coolers to the vaccination distribution point,” Harris explained. From the arrival of the first vials of vaccine to when the first person gets the actual shot, Harris estimates the turnaround time will be between 24 to 48 hours.

Harris added that right now, they are keeping a close eye on England, where the Pfizer vaccine was just approved by their government for use and vaccinations are about to begin. 

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