ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The portal reopened Monday to allow residents to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment at the Orange County Convention Center, but it closed less than an hour later, officials said.
The portal reopened at 9 a.m. at ocfl.net/vaccine, which is also where users can find a link to begin a new pre-registration process. It was closed around 9:55 a.m. after all the slots were filled.
The site provides about 2,500 shots per day.
Those who do get an appointment will receive a QR code that they are asked to bring with them to the convention center along with proof of residency. Only those 65 and older are eligible.
The Florida Department of Health in Orange County has reached capacity for the COVID-19 vaccination appointments at the @OCCC.— Orange County FL (@OrangeCoFL) February 15, 2021
✅ Stay updated on future appointment openings: https://t.co/Jn3KpoVD73
✅ FAQs: https://t.co/tftQzvlZw7 pic.twitter.com/scOPMGAZa9
Demings announced last week that qualifying seniors in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties can call 311 to arrange transportation via Lynx to the convention center if they’re unable to drive themselves or secure a ride. More information about that is available here.
Dr. Raul Pino from the Florida Department of Health in Orange County reminded those who are unable to attend their appointment to cancel it online. That way, the risk of wasting doses is minimized since the shots are drawn based on the number of appointments per day.
So far, Pino said the process has been very efficient and the amount of waste is less than 1%, which equates to anywhere between three to seven shots per day.
“So the way that we do this is that we know by the hour who is coming and how many people we’re expecting. We also subtract from the day before the percentage of no shows that we have as a projection of what is going to happen that day and based on that, we pre-draw the vaccines,” Pino said.
Come to the end of the day, the nurses who prepare the doses come out to the floor so they can see how many vehicles are in line and estimate from there how many more shots are needed.
“If we have any pre-drawn vaccines and people don’t show up for whatever reason, we have always given them to our staff that needs second doses first, or sometimes to the people who work in the convention center. Sometimes, someone has shown up with someone driving, and we offer the vaccine to that person. And we are in conversations with the county on how to establish a waiting line at the convention center for when that situation may happen for people to have it,” Pino said.
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