ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings and his team have identified underserved communities in the Orlando area that will be the first to benefit from new mobile COVID-19 vaccination units that FEMA is bringing to Central Florida.
The two mobile units will operate in conjunction with the federal vaccination site opening at Valencia College’s West Campus starting Wednesday. Each unit will be deployed into a community where the need for shots is high and administer 500 doses per day in addition to the at least 2,000 shots that will be given daily at Valencia.
Demings said the satellite units will be at the Engelwood Neighborhood Center on La Costa Drive from March 3 to March 6 then from March 7 to March 10 they’ll be at Kelly Park in Apopka.
More vaccination sites opening up. Check out https://t.co/QjCqiOtHJO for the latest. Wed - Sat. there is a FEMA satellite site at the Engelwood Neighborhood Center in the @citybeautiful. @DohOrange pic.twitter.com/GQ8bPwPw5C— Orange County FL (@OrangeCoFL) March 1, 2021
While the site at Valencia will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day, Demings said the mobile sites will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and accept walk ups.
Any Florida resident 65 and older who’s interested in visiting one of the federal sites can pre-register now at vaccine.fl.gov or by calling 833-959-0222.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said he was glad to see that Engelwood residents will be among the first to benefit from FEMA’s new mobile sites. He also announced an upcoming opportunity for the Parramore community.
“On March the 7th, the state of Florida vaccine site will open at Shiloh Baptist Church, which is in Parramore. They’ll have two events providing first doses on that first day, March 7, and a second day for second doses later in the month. We look forward to additional vaccine sites as well,” Dyer said.
The recent approval of the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine could be a gamechanger in that regard, according to the mayor.
“With one dose, I think that’s, for many, that’s that’s exciting. So I’m just looking for the day when we have widespread availability of vaccine, regardless of the pharmaceutical type here within our community,” Demings said.
Florida Department of Health in Orange County epidemiologist Alvina Chu said about 47% of local seniors and approximately 8% of the population as a whole have received at least one shot. The recovery rate now sits at 96% while the 14-day positivity rate is at 6.1%, with both numbers showing signs of improvement.
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