Central Florida prepares for more accessible, expansive COVID-19 vaccine campaign

Seminole County Emergency Manager Alan Harris says county is on track with president’s plan

With rising numbers of COVID-19 cases predicted this winter, President Joe Biden said he’s pushing to get more Americans vaccinated with a new plan that won’t impede on everyday life.

Biden announced the expansive vaccine campaign aimed at fighting the delta and omicron variants on Thursday.

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The more accessible rollout of COVID-19 vaccines promises to expand vaccine hours and locations, bolster vaccine efforts for kids 5 and up and encourage more eligible Americans to get their booster shots through walk-in appointments at pharmacies nationwide.

A spokesperson for CVS pharmacy, one of the companies offering vaccines and boosters, sent a statement to News 6 late Thursday:

The president’s plan also calls for more accessible testing, which would make at-home testing covered by private insurance plans, catering to eligible candidates old and young.

“(We are) launching family vaccination clinics to make it easier for children, parents and whole families to get vaccinated in one place,” Biden said.

The White House also plans to partner with AARP to coordinate rides for seniors to get their booster shots.

Additionally, beginning next week, all inbound international travelers must show a negative COVID-19 test within one day of traveling back to the U.S., regardless of vaccination status.

In Seminole County, emergency manager Alan Harris said so far, the county is on track with the president’s recommendations.

“We are already doing in-house vaccines, we are already doing in-house testing. We’re doing community-based testing sites late in the evening to allow people to travel more safely. We’re doing vaccines in the evening,” Harris said.

Residents we spoke with said they’re taking no chances and getting their booster shots.

Ginger Goodwin, for instance, said she’s pushing to get her booster shot as soon as she can.

“I really need to be protected. I have MS (multiple sclerosis) and my mother is ill,” she said.

Jim Saunders said he’s getting his booster on Saturday, which is especially important to him as a cancer survivor.

“The booster makes it a little more better to protect me,” Saunders said.

About the Author:

Jerry Askin is an Atlanta native who came to News 6 in March 2018 with an extensive background in breaking news.