Orange County community centers help Floridians sign up for vaccine appointments

4 centers open across county

Workers at four Orange County community centers lent a helping hand Friday as many seniors in Florida continue to struggle with booking an online coronavirus vaccine appointment.
Workers at four Orange County community centers lent a helping hand Friday as many seniors in Florida continue to struggle with booking an online coronavirus vaccine appointment.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Workers at four Orange County community centers lent a helping hand Friday as many seniors in Florida continue to struggle with booking an online coronavirus vaccine appointment.

Staff at Holden Heights, Pine Hills, East Orange and Taft community centers walked residents through the process of registering for a shot.

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The service came as the appointment portal for the Orange County Convention Center site reopened at 8 a.m. With demand for the vaccine remaining high, the portal was closed at 8:32 a.m. after filling 4,900 appointments.

Peggy Clark wasn’t able to secure a spot in time, but she received help in pre-registering, which will save time in making an appointment when the portal reopens.

“Extremely helpful. The two gentlemen here entered it in,” she said. “I realize it’s not going to be a quick fix. You can’t go right away, but at least I’ve taken the first step today.”

Florida residents who are eligible for the vaccine are encouraged to register at OCFL.net/vaccines.

People must create a CDR Health account in order to get tested or schedule a vaccine appointment. Once a person is registered, they will still need to schedule their appointment.

“I don’t know what to do, so I’m most grateful for the community centers and the folks here that are assisting us,” Clark said. “They only had so many spaces and they had 10 times that many people trying to get an appointment.”

Officials with Orange County previously said they expect about 8,000 doses of the vaccine for the coming week, but it’s unclear how many appointments will be offered on a per-week basis.

The county is providing vaccine updates via text if people text OCFLCOVID to 888777.


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About the Author:

Mark Lehman became a News 6 reporter in July 2014, but he's been a Central Florida journalist and part of the News 6 team for much longer. While most people are fast asleep in their bed, Mark starts his day overnight by searching for news on the streets of Central Florida.