Lake County leaders tout success of appointments for COVID-19 vaccine

County plans to offer more appointments when more vaccine doses become available

LEESBURG, Fla. – Lake County leaders say their first appointment-based vaccine clinic is improving by the hour.

Thursday was the second day for the county-run vaccine clinic at Lake-Sumter State College in Leesburg. The county opened up appointments for the vaccine clinic on Tuesday and every slot filled within minutes, according to Lake County Commissioner Sean Parks.

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This vaccination site filled 652 appointments per day, according to Thomas Carpenter, the county director of emergency management. He added that this site will be honoring those appointments through Saturday.

The county has seen some cancelations, according to Carpenter. He said workers at the vaccination site are trying to fill those vacancies in real-time.

“We do have an issue where we have multiple people in the car that are eligible under the governor’s executive order, so we can check real-time if someone’s canceled we have an opening,” said Carpenter. “We’ll put you in right now so we can get that done, takes a little bit longer but we get their paperwork done, we make sure that they’re eligible to get the vaccine, and then we’re able to administer it.

Carpenter says workers are making second appointments 21 days out for each person who is vaccinated; however, he admits that they may not have the vaccine available on that 21st day.

“We then have the ability to communicate with him if we need to move it for today, a couple of days, then we can do that,” said Carpenter. “So we know that we have a little bit of wiggle room, based on the availability of vaccines so that really, that really is what’s driving all the counties right now is our availability of vaccines.”

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The county is already planning to open up more appointments but, according to Carpenter, that will not happen until it receives more doses. People are encouraged to sign up for text alerts to receive updates on when those appointments become available. To sign up, text 888777.

When registration reopens, people can make appointments at https://scheduling.lakecountyfl.gov.

The Florida Department of Health will also continue first come, first serve vaccinations. People can find more information at lake.floridahealth.gov.