Convention center COVID-19 vaccination site open to residents outside of Orange County

Change came hours after site opened

Drivers line up for COVID-19 testing at the Orange County Convention Center. (Jeff Segers, News 6)

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – On the first day that COVID-19 vaccinations began for elderly residents at the Orange County Convention Center, officials made a big change that will open the site up to more people.

The director of the Florida Department of Health in Orange County Dr. Raul Pino was adamant late Monday afternoon when plans were unveiled for the site that only Orange County residents 65 and older would be able to get shots there.

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“Now, all these services are intended for Orange residents only and we are going to validate your residence with a proper ID. So as you enter the information (online), please be sure they match the ID that you are going to provide,” Pino said Monday.

The site opened up for vaccinations for the first time at 9 a.m. Tuesday and by about 1 p.m., the county announced that it will no longer just be restricted to Orange County residents.

No reason was given for the change but Pino did mention Monday that there could be some logistical problems with only allowing Orange County residents.

“So, Orange County is going to have a challenge because we are such a central location and such a magnet to the surrounding the communities. Other people from the surrounding communities are going to try to get vaccinated here, so that’s going to be interesting to see if people adhere to that,” Pino said.

The goal is to vaccinate 1,500 people per day at the convention center.

Appointments are required and can be made by online here. However, after the first day the online registration portal was closed after more than 30,000 appointments were made within 24 hours.

“At this time, the Department is closing the CDR HealthPRO portal to further appointments,” an email from the Orange County DOH read. “The Department will provide an update when the system reopens.”

Osceola and Seminole county vaccine sites are also open to non-county residents. For details on those counties, click or tap here.