First senior vaccine pod offering Johnson & Johnson vaccine arrives in Sumter County

Sumter County’s population has highest percentage of seniors in Florida, governor says

65,000 COVID-19 vaccine appointments on hold in Sumter County

SUMTERVILLE, Fla. – The first vaccine pod in Florida to offer the newly approved, single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine opened up in Sumter County on Wednesday.

Gov. Ron DeSantis made the announcement at Lake-Sumter State College’s Sumter Campus, which was already serving as a vaccination site.

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DeSantis said Sumter County is among the Florida counties with the highest percentage of seniors in its population.

“They (Sumter County) have the highest percentage of seniors, of any county in the state of Florida -- 58% of all the residents of Sumter are 65 or older,” DeSantis said. “We’ve done a majority of the seniors in Sumter.”

This new vaccine pod will offer up to 1,000 J&J vaccinations a day for the next three days, according to the governor. DeSantis also touted the state’s efforts to vaccinate its senior population.

“We’ve got almost 60% of seniors have gotten shots in Florida. That’s almost 3 million seniors,” he said.

This new vaccine pod comes as the state gets ready to expand its age eligibility requirements on Monday to include any Floridians who are 60 or older. The governor said this will make nearly 2 million more Floridians eligible to get vaccinated.

“A 60-year-old is less at risk than an 80-year-old, but a 60-year-old is more at risk than a 20-year-old and so I think it is important that we’re able to get the 60 to 64 and so I think it’s going to work out well,” DeSantis said.

He also teased that there would be an expansion in the number of Walgreens offering vaccinations across the state, but did not give any more specifics.

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About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.