SANFORD, Fla. – The Central Florida Zoo in partnership with Seminole County hosted a free COVID-19 vaccination event on Saturday.
The zoo offered a limited number of free tickets to people getting the shot.
Noelle Salangsang got her vaccine during the mobile event.
“This is the closest and the perk of getting the free zoo ticket was also great,” Salangsang said.
Salangsang said she was excited to get the vaccine after her husband was hospitalized with COVID-19 a month ago.
“Because of that, it really led us to want to get vaccinated. We thought he was young and healthy, but it was really scary, very scary so we’re glad to get vaccinated,” she said.
Seminole County Emergency Manager Alan Harris said incentives like the free zoo tickets play a big role in getting people to roll up their sleeves to get the shots.
“That certainly boosted the attendance here. We were looking at maybe doing 100 shots here. It looks like we’re going to be closer to about 350 here,” Harris said.
Harris said people may be waiting for the right time to get the vaccine. He adds people may be more encouraged to get the shot with free perks.
Harris said the county is working with other private businesses and looking at future opportunities to get more people vaccinated.
“We’re working with some bars downtown Sanford that want to partner with us. We’ve had a couple restaurants that have said they’ll give a free sandwich if they get a shot, so we’re game for all of that. Whatever will encourage the individual,” he said.
Salangsang said she’s looking forward to visiting family when she’s fully vaccinated. She adds she’s doing her part to bring an end to the pandemic.
“We’re grateful. It means a lot to be able to do what we can to stop and be safe ourselves and to help others be safe as well.”
The vaccination event is taking place at the Wayne Densch Discovery Center on Saturday, May 8 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Walk-ups are welcomed or you can make an appointment here. A limited number of free zoo ticket vouchers are available.