Volusia County Fairgrounds opens as COVID-19 vaccination site

A new COVID-19 vaccination site opened on Thursday at the Volusia County Fairgrounds.

In just four hours, 500 vaccinations were distributed in the 65 and up category who registered in advance.

Unlike the setup in the City of Daytona Beach when vaccinations were on a first-come, first-serve basis with cars lined up overnight, the county has established an appointment system.

"It went great," David McGraw said. "It was very organized. We’re very grateful and thankful for the state of Florida to accept non-residents and it’s a pleasure to be down in your great state."

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McGraw and his wife are snowbirds visiting from Minnesota.

"I talked to my brother yesterday and he said gosh you’re the first person we know that’s got the vaccine," he said.

For Rich Kosenski, he has seen the devastating effects of COVID-19.

"One of the fellas who used to work for me passed away from COVID," Kosenski said. "Really pretty upsetting you know. He just retired last year and then he got COVID and died so that’s upsetting."

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He and others said they look forward to getting the second Moderna shot in 28 days so they can start to get back to normal life.

"Not being uptight and nervous," Kosenski said. "Being around people and going shopping. Things like that."

But just how much longer will it take?

Volusia County officials said they need more vaccines and faster delivery. They did not get a shipment from the state this week.

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"We are working with the department of health and we have plans for future events, but we aren’t announcing those until we have vaccines in hand," Volusia County spokesperson Kate Sark said. "We want to be able to ensure that any appointments we make, we’re able to fulfill."

County officials told FOX 35 that at future vaccination events, if there are any no-shows for appointments, that those vaccines will not go to waste and will go to qualified individuals.  They also said that the public should not show up at these sites without an appointment because they will be turned away.

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