Lake County announces first vaccinations for people over 65

Appointments no longer needed as of Jan. 1

Registered nurse Cynthia Banada holds a vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at Miami Jewish Health, a senior healthcare facility, Monday, Dec. 28, 2020, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) (Lynne Sladky, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. – Lake County will begin vaccinating people over 65 at two locations beginning Wednesday, with plans for more dates in the near future.

During this first phase, Lake County will vaccinate the following populations: long-term care facility residents and staff; persons 65 years of age and older; and health care personnel with direct patient contact.

The vaccine sites will be at Cooper Memorial Library and Lake Sumter College.

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Vaccines are free. For the first few days, appointments will be required but as of Jan. 1, the sites will move to first come, first served only. All previously scheduled appointments will be honored. No more appointments are available, officials said.

People who qualify for the vaccine can call 352-742-4830 Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. if they have questions about the process. Please bring identification and, if you are a health care worker, a copy of your medical license, ID badge or a current paystub to the site.

Lake County Commissioner Sean Parks said that number has been overwhelmed recently and that only those 65 and older should call.

“Certainly you might have questions that are relevant but understand by you getting on the line that potentially clogs up the line because we are reaching limitations and that could take time away from somebody 65 or older that needs to get a question answered. So we are asking that you be very judicious in using that line. If you’re 65 or older though, by all means please, please call and we’ll do our best to answer your questions,” Parks said.

Lake County emergency manager Aaron Kissler said the phone lines are a testament to how much demand there is for the vaccine. As of 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, about 1,200 people had received their dose.

The county has received doses of the Moderna vaccine and expects to get more no later than next week.

That demand is also part of the reason why the sites will soon be walk-in only. Using that model, which is also what’s been done at the county’s testing sites, will ensure that days aren’t overbooked or underbooked.

“What we do in the morning is see how many people, we put those numbers out and at the end we cut it off so those people aren’t waiting all day and they’re not continuing to line up. So there will be a person at the very end who says we’ve reached capacity. And then what we also do is if we reach really large numbers, we’ll give a comeback time,” Kissler said.

To sign up for the latest emergency notifications regarding COVID-19, text COVIDUPDATE to 888777 or visit

Vaccination site schedules for the upcoming week are as follows:

When: Wednesday, Dec. 30 -Jan. 2 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., based on availability

Where: Cooper Memorial Library 2525 Oakley Seaver Dr., Clermont, FL 34711

Where: Lake Sumter College 9501 US-441, Leesburg, FL 34788

For vaccination plans from other Central Florida counties, click or tap here.

The vaccine is not expected to be available to the general population, including younger residents or non-frontline workers, until late spring.

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