4 things to know from Day 1 at FEMA’s new COVID-19 vaccination site

Mass vaccination site is open 7 days a week at Valencia College’s West Campus

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A new federally-run COVID-19 vaccination site opened up at Valencia College’s West Campus in Orlando on Wednesday.

Officials said the turnout on Wednesday was lower than they expect.

FEMA officials are now hoping to get the word out.

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Here are four things you need to know:

New Eligibility Requirements

Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a new executive order on who is eligible to get the vaccine. Any person in the list below can receive a vaccine at the new FEMA site:

  • Anyone 65 and older
  • Health care worker with direct patient contact
  • K-12 school employees who are 50 and older
  • Law Enforcement Officers who are 50 and older
  • Firefighters who are 50 and older
  • Anyone who is medically vulnerable

Anyone with extreme medical vulnerabilities must prove they qualify by having their doctor sign this form, according to the department of health.

No Appointment Needed

No appointment is needed at the site at Valencia.

Officials encourage you to pre-register for a vaccine at https://myvaccine.fl.gov/, officials at the site say you can walk-up and register on-site. They say if appointments are available, you will be able to get your vaccine right then.

“We want to make sure everyone who wants it, gets it,” Army Cpt. John Gagne said. “Having a walk-up site to eliminate some of the confusion with registration. Get here and we are going to make sure you get the shot.”

Site is Administering Pfizer Vaccine, Will Use Johnson And Johnson In Future

As of Wednesday, officials at the FEMA site are administering the two-dose Pfizer vaccine. Lt. Colonel Fisher told News 6 they will begin offering the single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine with more details to come within a few days.

“The states [are] working on the delivery plan,” Lt. Fisher said. “We will have it here and yes customers will be able to make a choice as to which one they would want.”

Goal Is To Vaccinate 2,000 People Per Day

The goal at the fixed FEMA site at Valencia College’s West Campus is to vaccinate 2,000 people per day. About 1,800 people showed upbringing a lower-than-expected turnout.

“I think it’s because the first day,” said Army Lt. Colonel Troy Fisher. “Quite frankly, we need to make sure everybody knows this is the place to come. Maybe sometimes there is a thought there is a first-day rush, there [are] many other factors out of my control, but we certainly will give those vaccines to those who qualify for the governor’s standards when they get here.”

Besides the fixed FEMA hub at Valencia College’s West Campus, FEMA is sending out mobile units to Orange, Osceola, Polk and Highlands counties targeting minority neighborhoods with the goal of vaccinating 500 people per day at each of the two mobile sites.

The fixed FEMA site is located at Valencia College - West Campus at 1800 S. Kirkman Road in Orlando.

The site runs from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. seven days a week

The site is scheduled to be up and running for the next two months but could stay longer if needed, according to officials at the site.