COVID-19 shots for those 65 and up start Tuesday, registration suspended

A nurse draws a COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe in this December file photo. The Department of Health in Marion County announced it would start vaccinations of those 65 and older on Tuesday, but also suspended registration to sign up for the vaccine due to reaching 50,000 registrations. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette]
The first COVID-19 vaccinations for Marion County residents 65 and older begin on Tuesday, even as the local health department halted registration to sign up for the vaccine due to high demand.

Since announcing the start of registration for those 65 and older last week the Department of Health in Marion County experience overwhelming response, overloading the phone system, according to a DOH press release.

The local health department suspended registration after reaching 50,000 sign ups. It will take several weeks for those already signed up to get their first doses of the vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccines currently available require two doses.

“We’re capping the number of people included in this first round of signups to allow for staff to work through the current list of registrants and get them fully vaccinated. We will re-open registration once the first group of 50,000 registrants completes their vaccinations,” said Mark Lander, local DOH administrator in a prepared statement.

COVID-19 vaccine registration for residents age 65 or older is currently suspended in Marion County. The Department of Health in Marion County has temporarily closed registration for the vaccine due to signups exceeding the department’s initial 50,000 registrations cap.

The health department will be vaccinating with both the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines in the weeks ahead. The Moderna version requires 28 days between shots, and the Pfizer requires 21 days between shots.

Those already registered will receive a call from the health department when the vaccine is available. They ask that those already registered not call.

“Please know that we are not sitting on any vaccine here. As soon as vaccination opportunities become available, we are scheduling those vaccination appointments,” Lander said.

As of Monday, the county has vaccinated 2,878 people. The state has vaccinated 260,655 people in total.

The county is currently in the middle of a surge in COVID-19 cases, as it added another 139 cases on Sunday, bringing the total to 18,621 positive residents since the beginning of the pandemic. Marion County has seen 1,344 hospitalizations and 485 deaths due to COVID-19. The county had a positivity rate of 15.38% on Sunday, the ninth consecutive day the county has reported a positivity rate above 10%.

 

 

 

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