Melbourne-based Omni Healthcare plans to begin administering COVID-19 vaccines to health care providers with direct patient contact late Thursday afternoon, then to people 65 and older starting on Friday, according to the head of the company.
Appointments will be required, News 6 partner Florida Today reported.
Omni Healthcare President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Craig Deligdish cautioned that initial supplies of the vaccine are limited.
He expects Thursday’s first shipment to include 2,000 vaccine doses. Omni already has nearly 10,000 people registered for the COVID-19 vaccination.
Deligdish said Omni, a multispecialty physician group, hopes to secure additional doses of vaccine next week.
“We are continuing to work closely with state officials to keep our vaccine supply channels at full capacity.” Deligdish said.
Deligdish said, as the program ramps up, he hopes to have Omni administer 1,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine daily at its Melbourne COVID-19 vaccine center on South Apollo Boulevard.
Initially, Deligdish said Omni was planning to administer 100 doses of the first 2,000 on Thursday, then 800 Friday, 800 Saturday and the remaining 300 on Monday, at which time he hopes a new shipment will come in.
When allocations increase, Deligdish said, Omni hopes to expand vaccine administration to four other Omni sites throughout the county — Merritt Island, Palm Bay, Port St. John and Titusville.
Deligdish credited Florida Rep. Randy Fine for helping coordinated the vaccine allocation to Omni, saying Fine “personally interceded with the state in order to get these new doses to Brevard.”
Deligdish also thanked Gov. Ron DeSantis and his administration for directing the vaccines to Brevard.
Deligdish said it is his understanding that Omni is getting vaccine doses from other counties where the administering of the vaccine is not proceeding at a fast enough pace.
DeSantis has emphasized during several news conferences this week that he does not want vaccines being stored for extended periods in freezers, but rather wants to get them administered to people as quickly as possible.
“The better job we do, the more vaccine we’ll get,” Deligdish said.
More information about Omni Healthcare’s coronavirus vaccine program is available by calling 321-802-5515 or going to www.COVID19vaccinebrevard.com
Deligdish said people will be answering phones from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily to coordinate vaccine scheduling.
He said Omni has 30 people assigned to work on administering the vaccines, plus 10 people working on scheduling.
Deligdish said people getting the vaccine through Omni will pay no out-of-pocket fee. Costs will be billed through the government or an insurer.
When people arrive at Omni for their first scheduled vaccine, they will be scheduled for their required second vaccine, which is administered 21 to 28 days later.
Separately, the Florida Department of Health on Monday began administering the first of 3,500 doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on Monday for those ages 65 and older, as well as health care workers who provide direct patient care, but who are not associated with a hospital system. The drive-thru vaccinations are being done outside a Department of Health complex off Judge Fran Jamieson Way in Viera.
The Department of Health has an online appointment system for its vaccinations. But all the appointments for the first 3,500 doses are filled, extending through the end of January.
As soon as more vaccine is available, appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations through the Department of Health will be able to be made online via the Eventbrite platform at the following link: https://brevardcovidvaccine.eventbrite.com