Orange County Books 7,000 Vaccine Appointments In Minutes After Drop To Age 40
It took 13 minutes to fill the available spots for the county-run drive-thru location at the Orange County Convention Center, the first site in Florida to open eligibility to residents 40 and over.
Orange County lowered the eligibility age to receive the COVID-19 vaccine to 10 years lower than the state requirement on Monday morning and filled 7,000 appointments in 13 minutes before closing registration.
Reservations were required for the county-run drive-thru site at the Orange County Convention Center, the first location in Florida to open vaccine eligibility to residents 40 and older.
The Florida Department of Health in Orange County has reached capacity for COVID-19 vaccination appointments at the @OCCC. 7,000 appointments were booked by 9:13 a.m.— Orange County FL (@OrangeCoFL) March 22, 2021
✅ Stay updated on future appointment openings: https://t.co/Jn3KpoVD73
✅ FAQs: https://t.co/tftQzvlZw7 pic.twitter.com/DsEQy1FthA
Statewide, Gov. Ron DeSantis is lowered the age of eligibility to 50 years old on Monday. The governor criticized the decision to drop the age another 10 years in Orange County, but so far hasn’t blocked the move.
“Trying to do healthy 40-year-olds over maybe finding some more seniors would not be direction that I would go,” DeSantis said.
DeSantis had previously said he would drop eligibility to 55 – but because the demand wasn’t as strong as expected, he decided to drop it to 50. He said the next step for the state would be to open up vaccine eligibility for everyone who is eligible under the FDA’s emergency use authorization.
“So the 16 or 18 up, depending on the shot, we probably can just open it up to everybody,” DeSantis said. “I can’t tell you exactly when that will happen, but I can tell you it will be before May 1.”
Miami-Dade County also announced it would lower the cutoff to age 40. Miami plans to make the move drop the age to 40 next week – and then drop it by 10 years each week after that until everyone is eligible.
Additionally, Florida is expanding vaccine eligibility for homebound seniors. People can email firstname.lastname@example.org to be put on a list to get the vaccine brought to their home.
Florida Director of Emergency Management Jared Moskowitz said the state planned to send out 1,000 nurses over the weekend to do vaccinations at home.
“Since we launched that website, we have 4,000 new people that are asking us to come vaccinate them at their home that are homebound,” Moskowitz said.
Copyright 2021 WMFE.