Gov. DeSantis helps debut new COVID-19 vaccine site at The Villages

Appointments already booked, according to governor

THE VILLAGES, Fla. – People in Sumter County now have a new opportunity to get a coronavirus vaccine. Florida seniors started receiving their shots Tuesday.

Through a partnership with the Florida Department of Health and Global Medical Response, those who are 65 and older can receive a vaccine free of charge at a new outdoor site. Site leaders said they are releasing the address to those with confirmed appointments.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was there for the first appointments Tuesday. He said the site will be able to handle 800 to 1,000 vaccinations each day.

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Though the vaccination site has already booked available appointments, the governor said more doses are on the way.

“They have the capacity to expand this,” DeSantis said about vaccination operations. “So we told them if you’re getting the shots in, we want to be able to send you more.”

The site is a drive-up location, with the governor joking that patients will be allowed to drive up in golf carts as well. The site will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“If you look at Florida in terms of the numbers of shots that we have for senior citizens, we are leading the country by a country mile on this and the vast majority of our shots have gone to people 65 and up,” DeSantis said.

Steve and Gene Uhrick found out about the new site on Monday and right away signed up online for an appointment.

“We got lucky. I was able to book my appointment for 10 o’clock and she made hers for 9:30 so they just did us together while we were here so it ran very quick, very smooth, very efficient,” Steve Uhrick said.

Robin Wagonschutz also got a chance at getting the Moderna shot and so did her 88-year-old mother.

“I registered myself, I registered my mom, my husband and the next morning when I got up, we had the appointment,” Wagonschutz said.

Below is information regarding the vaccination site:

How do I make an appointment?

People 65 and older are required to register for an appointment at https://sumterfl.saferestart.net/.

The form will ask for a series of personal questions including birth date and social security number to verify a patient’s identity.

As you register for the vaccine, you will also be asked how you want to receive your special PIN number. Each registrant gets a PIN to avoid false registrations, according to Global Medical Response. You can choose to receive your PIN via text, email or phone call.

Note: The phone call might be from a different area code because it is system-generated.

How many appointments will be available?

Global Medical Response said appointments will vary based on supply. The governor assured Tuesday the site has the capabilities of administering around 800 shots a day to start.

Who can get vaccinated?

Anyone 65 and older in the Sumter County area.

For more information on vaccine plans in Central Florida, head to clickorlando.com/vaccine.


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