Seminole County debuts mobile unit to help vaccinate senior communities

Unit put to test when vaccinating 140 residents at Serenity Towers

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – Serenity Towers in Sanford was transformed into a coronavirus vaccination site Tuesday morning, with the introduction of its mobile unit.

The Department of Health in Seminole County partnered with county officials and Sanford Fire paramedics to bring their mobile unit into the senior community, expanding the county’s vaccine program to those most vulnerable to COVID-19.

“We started mobile delivery today to individuals that are transportation disadvantaged and seniors,” said Alan Harris, Seminole County’s Emergency Director. “Some have a hard time getting around, have a hard time getting on 417 and driving to the Oviedo Mall. It’s really challenging so we wanted to get something close to them.”

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About 140 residents at the Serenity Tower rolled up their sleeves, agreeing to get Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, including Sylvia Bodison.

“I have grandkids and it was nice (of) the health department and the fire department to come out and help us today,” she said. “I’m trying to stay healthy and do the right thing so I wouldn’t affect anybody else.”

Hugh Harling, 77, said the mobile unit was a blessing, making the opportunity to get vaccinated a more accessible one.

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“It would be harder for me to go to the Oviedo Mall than for me to get downstairs,” Harling said.

Seminole County used the last of their first shipment of 8,100 Moderna vaccines for the event Tuesday. However, because Seminole County was just given a second shipment of 12,000 Pfizer vaccines, they will continue to serve the senior communities throughout the week.

“We have something scheduled all the way to Saturday,” Harris said.

When more appointments are available people can sign up by going to prepareseminole.org or by calling the citizens’ hotline at 407-665-0000 or go directly to Eventbrite to book an appointment.

The county’s biggest challenge as vaccines expand further into the community is manpower. Seminole County is actively hiring and recruiting volunteers to help with consent forms and the logistics of setting up these mobile sites.

“Our challenge is to get a designated team so we can continue daily operations as well as increase the number of vaccines,” said Donna Walsh, the Florida Department of Health in Seminole County’s health director.

Seminole County plans to bring the mobile units out to Hacienda Village, Palm Valley and The Tremont senior communities by Saturday to vaccinate even more seniors.

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


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