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Heart of Florida administers Pfizer vaccine to residents 65 and up

Published: Jan. 9, 2021 at 6:27 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -Marion county seniors are excited to say they’ve received their COVID-19 vaccine.

“Gosh I was so happy I’ll be able to see my grandchildren again I haven’t seen them in a year,” said vaccine recipient, Grace Skinner.

The Heart of Florida Health Center in Ocala received 1,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine to provide to those who are 65 and older.

“Thanks to our fantastic, fantastic partnership we have going with Heart of Florida,” said Marion County Florida Department of Health Administrator, Mark Lander. “And by them being able to run events like this it really really dips into the numbers of our 65 and up community that need vaccinations.”

If you don’t live in Marion County you can still receive the vaccine, but only if you can come back for a second dose. Those who received a dose today, were required to set another appointment for that second dose.

CEO of Heart of Florida, Jamie Ulmer, explained just how their process works.

“We give you a clipboard and paperwork we register you which takes about three to five minutes and then you come in and you’re immediately given your vaccine,” explained Ulmer.

After, they head to a waiting area and wait for 15 minutes before they can go on about their day. The wait is so health care workers can monitor recipients just in case of an allergic reaction.

While 100-year-old Mary Rizzuto was waiting, she described what getting the vaccine means to her.

“How did it feel to get the vaccine?” asked her daughter, Grace Mary Etheredge. “Aren’t you glad you’ll be here longer now? "

“Very good very good,” expressed Rizzuto. “Oh much yes indeed!”

Although there is still a long way to go, Ulmer said he’s very proud of his staff and everyone that chipped in to make this possible.

“Being able to know that we are providing a lifesaving measures to this community definitely allows me to sleep very good night,” added Ulmer.

Heart of Florida is expecting a new shipment and will provide the vaccine by appointment at all seven clinics starting next week.

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