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COVID-19 ‘vaccine pod’ coming to Central Florida senior communities

Gov. Ron DeSantis says strategy is to bring vaccines to Florida’s most vulnerable

POINCIANA, Fla. – In an effort to continue to vaccinate seniors first, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday the state is now trying to target senior living communities, with Central Florida marked as the next stop.

On Thursday, health care workers arrived at Solivita retirement community in Polk County to administer doses of a coronavirus vaccine.

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Solivita resident Bill Bond, 73, got his shot of the Pfizer vaccine on Thursday morning.

“I’ve been watching and trying to find ways to get a shot and when this came up, it was a great opportunity to do it,” Bond said. “I come in my golf cart.”

Solivita employees said they received the greenlight to set up the operation four days ago. They are getting help from the National Guard and volunteers.

Club manager, Sheri Wollschlager, said the vaccines are strictly for Solivita residents 65 and older.

“We have over 9,000 residents here. We have 7,000 that are 65 and older and our goal is to have every resident here in Solivta vaccinated,” she said.

DeSantis made the announcement during a news conference at Sun City Center Community Hall in Hillsborough County. The governor elaborated that the state is working to partner with communities that have a significant elderly population to bring these so-called “vaccine pods” to the area. He called the pods the next step after targeting long-term care facilities.

DeSantis said more pods would be coming to Central Florida communities, too.

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