FEMA mass vaccination sites to offer first doses of Pfizer again this week

State giving FEMA sites Pfizer again after J&J pause

The Valencia College FEMA site reopens this week.
The Valencia College FEMA site reopens this week.

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – This week, first doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be available again at FEMA’s mass vaccination site at Valencia College’s west campus.

This comes after the site saw a dramatic drop in vaccinations following the pause in the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. It was earlier this month that the state switched the site to offer only J&J as the site is set to close on May 26.

[TRENDING: Mechanical issue forces pilot to land at Cocoa air show| 2 killed, 2 injured in Palm Bay crash | Unemployment claim disqualifies Disney cast member for 5 months]

“The reason we are here is to provide mass vaccination and when our capabilities are reduced, it just feels like we are handcuffed,” said CJ Prudhom, a FEMA spokesperson at the site. “Second doses of Pfizer, that’s the only thing we have been giving for the last week so it’s been slow. Normally our capacity is many more thousands.”

However, starting on Tuesday the site is expected to vaccinate thousands again as the state plans to reallocate first doses of Pfizer back at the site.

“I expect our lines will be pretty busy starting Tuesday,” Prudhom said. “We don’t have an exact count, but what we heard is it could be less than the 3,000 we were getting before, but we will have the number of available first doses on Monday.”

The last time the site offered the first dose of Pfizer was also the first day eligibility opened for those 16 and up, with lines then up to two hours long. Prudhom believes the demand will be there again this week as no appointments are needed at the walk-up site.

“One of the big benefits here (is) there aren’t appointments, so come when you are comfortable,” he said. “If you are 16 years old, you have to bring proof of age, your consent form signed by a parent and a legal guardian when you come get your shot.”

This comes on the same day Orange County health officials tweeted they are seeing increases in cases in those 18-24, urging the younger population to get vaccinated.

As for the FEMA sites set up into the neighborhoods, they will not be operating this week. The fixed mass vaccination site at Valencia College is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week.


About the Author:

Nadeen Yanes joined News 6 as a general assignment reporter in 2016. She grew up in Leesburg and graduated from the University of Florida. Nadeen has won three Associated Press Awards for her reporting on the Pulse Nightclub shooting, the trial of the Pulse gunman's wife and the capture of an accused cop killer, Markeith Loyd.