‘We anticipate a large crowd:’ Valencia College FEMA vaccination site prepares for expanded eligibility

Starting Monday anyone 18 and older can get the vaccine, 16 & 17 year olds can get Pfizer

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Many people spent part of their Easter Sunday morning getting vaccinated at the FEMA vaccination site located at Valencia College west campus.

Charlie Rossin said getting her shot at the walk-up site was quick, especially since she struggled to make an appointment online.

“God is good today,” Rossin said.

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COVID-19 vaccines are now available to anyone 16 and older in Florida.

She adds she is glad she’s doing her part to bring an end to the pandemic.

“I’m glad I did my duty and I felt bad that I wasn’t getting, that I wasn’t getting it done. I was feeling irresponsible,” she said.

Gerado Navarro said he is the last person in his family to get vaccinated.

“Relieved. We’re ready to get this behind us,” Navarro said.

This comes as the state prepares to expand vaccine eligibility. The state is opening it up to people 18 and older on Monday.

Denise Whitehead, state spokesperson for the Valencia College vaccination site, said there will likely be a huge turnout when the eligibility age lowers.

“We anticipate a large crowd tomorrow morning so I would expect a lot of people first thing in the morning trying to get in the door, a lot of younger people,” Whitehead said.

Monday is also the last day FEMA sites will offer the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

“Which means 16- and 17-year olds can come with their parent and a signed consent form (to) get the vaccine here as well,” Whitehead said.

Consent forms will be available at the site. Teens will also need to bring their photo I.D. or birth certificate to verify date of birth.

On Tuesday, FEMA sites will offer the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine. Whitehead said they’ll offer 3,000 J&J vaccines daily on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Whitehead adds if you got your first dose of the Pfizer vaccine at Valencia, you would return to the site to get your second shot.

Florida is receiving more doses of the vaccine this week. The state is expected to receive 817,000 doses compared to 683,000 last week.

“If you can get it, come and get it. This is a walk-up site it’s open to anyone, so please don’t hesitate to come and get the vaccine,” Whitehead said.

The FEMA site at Valencia College offers language translation services, including Spanish, Creole, and sign language on site. For other languages, FEMA translation services are available.