Here’s why some waited until now to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Lack of convenience, fear have delayed some from getting vaccinated

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Out of thousands of available shots in the county, 1,229 people decided to get their first vaccine on Monday morning more than five months after the first shots became available in Florida to select groups. However, officials say vaccine demand dying but not it’s not dead yet.

At Barnett Park Tuesday, News 6 spoke to several people who decided to get their first dose now.

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Here are their reasons for waiting to get the shot.

CONVENIENCE

For David Sims, he said he would often see COVID-19 vaccine events around town as he was driving but never had time to actually stop. Knowing many of them were mobile units, he really didn’t know where to go. That was until he happened to see Barnett Park was not only offering drive-thru testing, but now offering drive-thru vaccinations as well.

“I really didn’t know where to go, so when I came here, I came here to walk around and exercise ... I had seen vaccinations and I said, ‘Oh, that’s great,” Sims said. “It was more convenient for me.”

That is exactly the mission of the mobile units and setting up vaccination sites in neighborhoods. Local health leaders are moving away from mass vaccination sites. The Orange County Convention Center’s vaccination site closes for good on May 22, after offering single dose Johnson and Johnson vaccines on Friday and Saturday.

FEMA’s mass vaccination site at Valencia College is also expected to close May 26.

“It was too far, and the convention center is so many people, so when I came here, I didn’t know, I’m excited, I’m happy,” Sims added.

PREPARING TO TRAVEL

For Vincent Rose, he tried to get vaccinated early on but wasn’t eligible as vaccines were only available for those 60 and older when the rollout first started. He said because of work, he just hasn’t been able to get back. He was at Barnett Park with a co-worker getting his first dose, preparing to travel to Jamaica this summer.

“Today is the time for me to take it, this guy was coming so I came with him,” Rose said. “I’m going to Jamaica and they are more serious over there than here.”

SEEING LOVED ONES GET SICK OR DIE

For two people at Barnett Park Tuesday, they decided to get vaccinated after witnessing loved one just recently get sick or die due to COVID-19.

For Asia Brasfield, she was hesitant about the vaccine.

“I’m not going to lie, I was scared because of the conspiracy theories,” Brasfield said.

However, one of her husband’s family members just died because of the virus, and she said that’s scarier.

“It scared me because things kind of slowed down, but when my husband told me I was like ‘Oh my gosh’, people are still suffering out here, people are still dying,” she said. “That’s what pushed me to get it. I have children and someone to take care of at the end of the day and I have to be there.”

For Rosie Agueda, she and her husband called themselves “chickens” when it came to getting the vaccine.

“I was hesitant, I was scared, I am not going to lie,” she said. “I am scared. I’m scared of the symptoms after the shot.”

However, Agueda’s daughter had COVID-19 last week and this concerned mom felt those symptoms were worse.

“She got so sick and I was so scared she’s so far away I couldn’t be with her,” she said. “That’s what made me get the shot, only because we are going to travel again this year and I don’t want to be exposed to people who haven’t had the shot and I could get covid you just don’t know.”

According to data from the Florida Department of Health, hospitalizations and deaths are going down in Orange County. On Monday, there were 199 new cases Monday and 8 people died because of COVID-19 in the last week.