Seminole County carving out plan for wide-scale distribution of COVID-19 vaccine

“It looks like it’s about two weeks away,” Dr. Husty said.

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – Anticipation is growing as the public waits for the distribution of a coronavirus vaccine to begin.

For months, Seminole County’s Medical Director Dr. Todd Husty said health officials have been carving out a plan for wide-scale distribution in Central Florida.

“It looks like it’s about two weeks away,” Dr. Husty said.

Dr. Husty said the race to develop a plan will require an all-hands-on-deck approach. He shared a broad outline of who the county has reached out to, to help disperse a vaccine.

“I went to the fire chief and asked if we can use paramedics working under the health department, under my license and he said yes. They wrote up an MOU (Memorandum Of Understanding) which we already have signed, we’re already discussing how that works, how are we going to logistically do this,” Dr. Husty said.

Aside from the two promising vaccines, Dr. Husty said attention is now shifting to public trust.

“I know of many people who have said ‘I’m not going to a hospital to get a shot’,” which he said is posing challenges for health officials.

Dr. Husty said he has heard several concerns.

“‘It’s not safe how could they make a safe vaccine so fast it never happened before; it’s called technology’,” he said.

Health officials have been debating who should be offered the vaccine first and he said the guidance will come down from a federal level.

“It’s going to be people over the age of 65, first responders, that is law enforcement and EMS and fire departments and it’s going to be healthcare workers too,” Dr. Husty said.

He said while that group will be prioritized first, he doesn’t want the public to be discouraged.

“For people that would like to be at the front of the line, but they don’t fit the bill my message is hanging in there, it’s not that much longer,” he said.

“When this happens, don’t be afraid.”