Marion County completes list of vaccine appointments
Director of emergency management Preston Bowlin. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette]
COVID-19 vaccines are available to all adults, but the Department of Health in Marion County is struggling to find takers.
“We have exhausted our vaccination list, the list that we get from the state… we’re only seeing about 25 people calling to get registered a day,” said Preston Bowlin, emergency management director of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. “If there’s anybody that wants a vaccine, they can get them today. They can just come to the (Paddock) Mall, they can call the Marion County hotline (352-644-2590), they can go to the Marion County website.”
According to state records, more than 123,000 Marion County residents people have gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Marion County’s has an estimated population of more than 365,000, with just less than 300,000 above age 18, according to 2019 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Almost 85,000 have completed their vaccination series.
“There’s no excuse for not getting the vaccine in Marion County,” Bowlin said.
Between April 12 and April 16, the county administered 13,367 vaccines, a 27.8% decrease from the last Monday-through-Friday stretch between April 5 and April 9. Thursday had the most vaccines in one day last week with 3,299 doses. Every day between April 5 and April 9 featured more vaccines being given out than last Thursday.
Bowlin also mentioned that the last day at the Paddock Mall vaccination site will be May 28th, as the state is demobilizing the state contractors. The plan is to work with more businesses like FedEx and Amazon as well as opening a smaller vaccination clinic at the Department of Health in Marion County and running in-home vaccination missions with Marion County Fire Rescue and Ocala Fire Rescue.
Marion County had 63.4 positive cases per day last week, including a peak of 98 cases on April 15. This was an increase from 45.2 cases per day the previous week.