Marion DOH hopes to vaccinate 40,000 more people with new vaccine age qualification

Published: Mar. 19, 2021 at 5:20 PM EDT
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OCALA Fla. (WCJB) - The number of people who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine is about the expand.

Friday morning Gov. DeSantis announced that the eligibility age is being lowered again.

Related story: DeSantis: Floridians aged 50 and older are eligible for the COVID vaccine starting Monday

In Marion County the demand for the COVID-19 vaccine has slowed, but it hasn’t disappeared, and with Gov. DeSantis lowering the eligibility age of those who can get the vaccine, that means 40,000 more people in the county will now be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

When the vaccine first became available to the public, 50,000 people wanted an appointment.

Now officials said, all 50,000 have been inoculated.

“We’re calling people now same day. They may be registering, they may be getting called same day, they’re calling in and we’re getting them scheduled,” Marion DOH Administrator Mark Lander said.

More than 55 percent of the 65 and older population has been vaccinated in marion county now, “When we were given the initial estimates, Marion County has 108,000 individuals that were 65 and older and to date we have vaccinated over 60,000 of those individuals,” Lander added.

And starting Monday they’re hoping thousands more will sign up.

“This is what public health is about and this is what we’ve all signed up to do and this is what we’ve dedicated our professions to,” he said.

By monday, those eligible to receive the vaccine will be long-term care facility residents and staff, people aged 50 and older, frontline health care workers, people who are “extremely vulnerable” to the virus, K-12 school employees and firefighters aged 50 or older.

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