ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – It was late December when Florida received the first shipments of the coronavirus vaccine. Governor Ron DeSantis made seniors a priority by limiting the shots to people 65 and older.
The demand at the time was high. Long lines of cars were seen at vaccination sites like the Orange County Convention Center.
The online portal for appointments was completely booked in a matter of minutes.
“The last 24 hours, we had 30,000 appointments,” Kent Donahue, spokesperson for FDOH Orange County said back in December.
In January, we saw seniors, desperate to get a shot, sleep in their cars overnight in cold temperatures for a first-come, first-served event at the Daytona Municipal Stadium.
“It was worth every single hour, it really was, to get the shot. We get to see the grandkids in a month,” Thomas Frascina said in January.
Then in February, the vaccine rollout began at selected Publix pharmacies, Walmart, Sam’s Clubs across the state.
Many couldn’t get appointments which led to anger and frustration.
By March, the community began to see accessibility increased from more vaccination sites opening — like the federally supported site at Valencia College West Campus — to seeing teachers getting their shots before the governor opened vaccines to all adults in April.
President Joe Biden said the goal is to get back to some normalcy by July 4th, calling for 70% of all adults in the U.S. to get at least one dose by then.
Learn how to get vaccinated by clicking here.