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Second round of Seminole vaccine appointments booked within minutes

Appointments full through Jan. 16

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – Seminole County received 12,000 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine this week in a second shipment but it’s unclear if more doses will be arriving consistently.

Seminole County’s Emergency Manager Alan Harris said during a call with state officials county leaders were told, “we do not know if you will get any more, we don’t know when it is, we know that you will, eventually.”

Harris said this allotment of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine allowed the county to open up a second round of appointments that runs through Jan. 16 but Harris said those appointments booked up within minutes.

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“I think someone told me our website had about 80,000 hits in the first couple minutes; so that is, obviously, what knocked the system off-line,” said Harris.

Lou Arasi was among those able to get an appointment for the vaccine. He said he was alerted via text and email that appointments were available.

Residents can text COVID19INFO to 888-777 to receive notifications when the vaccine becomes available to more groups and/or when more appointments are available.

Arasi said he immediately went online and within minutes was able to schedule an appointment for next week.

Harris said the first shipment of the vaccine they received was from Moderna and part of a pilot program for the state.

But Harris said that pilot is now done and counties have their points of distribution.

Harris added that starting Tuesday, Seminole County is distributing the vaccine to those 65 and older, using mobile units that will go into different communities.

Additionally, the state is working on a centralized website that will handle vaccine reservations for all of the counties, according to Harris.

He said there is a private company piloting software and testing it out on people as they wait in line for their vaccine appointments at the Oviedo Mall where the Seminole County vaccine site is located.

But Harris said he’s not sure when the state will begin implementing that centralized reservation system.

For more information about vaccine distribution plans in Central Florida, head to clickorlando.com/vaccine.


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