Hundreds camp out inside Daytona stadium to receive COVID-19 vaccine
LAKE MARY, Fla. - Hundreds of cars poured into the parking lot of the Daytona Stadium Monday night to wait in line for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday.
Many waited outside the gates all day to be let into the parking lot around 7 p.m. Barbara and Joe Shanton, both 88 years old, were first in line.
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"We got here at 10 this morning," said Joe. "We’ve been in hibernation for a year! And we’re getting too old for that because we don’t have too many years left -- we can’t lose them."
Previously, city officials discouraged people from camping out overnight to wait for the vaccine.
However, after hundreds of people lined up along LPGA Boulvard, the city decided to allow people in the parking lot. They only allowed 1,000 people into the lot so people would feel no need to wait outside and then be turned away.
"This change will hopefully remove overnighters from the roadway and alleviate early morning traffic congestion on LPGA Blvd. and surrounding roads," said a City of Daytona Beach Spokesperson in a statement.
As cars piled into the parking lot, one could notice the dozens of out-of-state license plates moving through.
Many of these plates belonged to snowbirds and vacationers who were already in Florida and decided to use the opportunity to protect themselves from COVID-19.
"We actually had planned a vacation in Florida for the month of January and when all of this came out that people that are 65 years or older can get the vaccine, we quickly jumped on that," said Barb Carel from Indiana.
Many of the visitors said their home-state was behind on administering the vaccine for those 65 and up.
"I don’t think Michigan has started the 65 and older vaccines yet, they’ve done all the healthcare workers, first responders, and emergency personnel -- they’re working on that now," said Jim Courage, a snowbird from Michigan. "I feel very fortunate."
Another couple from Tennessee said the state is only allowing vaccinations for people 75 and older.
This is perfectly legal. The Department of Health in Volusia County made the following statement: "Residency is not a requirement."
The vaccinations begin at 9 a.m. on Tuesday.
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