Orange County Convention Center to stop providing first doses of COVID-19 vaccine

Site moves to second doses only starting Monday

Shifting to new strategy, Orange County Convention Center vaccine site closing in May
Shifting to new strategy, Orange County Convention Center vaccine site closing in May

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Those who’d like to get their first dose at the Orange County Convention Center COVID-19 vaccination site only have a few days left to do so.

Officials from the Florida Department of Health in Orange County announced Tuesday that this week will be the last opportunity for first doses at the site with the last day being Saturday.

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Starting Monday, only second doses will be provided.

Appointments are required for the site and can be made by going to ocfl.net/vaccine. That link also highlights other vaccination sites in the area, many of which don’t require appointments.

Officials announced earlier this month that the site would close at the end of May and instead, two smaller sites each capable of doing about 2,000 shots per day would open in two different locations in the county that have not yet been announced.

The move comes as more and more conventions are returning to the area.

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings and Orange County health officer Dr. Raul Pino spoke during a town hall on Monday about shifting the local vaccination strategy.

Though about 260,000 inoculations have been done at the Orange County Convention Center site, leaders have realized that bringing mobile vaccination pods into communities is more likely to provide access to residents who may not be willing or able to make it to the International Drive area.

“The key is to make it as convenient as possible for people so that they do not have to travel long distances to be able to get access. We now know that when we make it convenient for them, and it’s right on their street, perhaps right in their households, they will take the opportunity to do so,” Demings said.

Pino said there’s also a plan to develop an email address for members of the community to submit requests for mobile vaccine pods to visit their place of worship, workplace or neighborhood.

“We’ve created an index that looks at the number of cases, the mortality in the area, and how they are socially ranked by the CDC with the social vulnerability index. We mix all that, we establish our ranking and we will go to those places that are higher risk to having an outbreak,” Pino said.

As of Sunday, about 36% of Orange County residents have received one or more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and 24% of residents have completed the series.


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