Lake County says 'first come, first served' vaccination distribution working
CLERMONT, Fla. - Images from Florida’s vaccination effort made the news across the country.
Elderly people were seen lining up with umbrellas and lawn chairs waiting for the COVID-19 vaccine in Lee County. In Volusia County, seniors camped out in their cars overnight to get a spot in line.
Those counties were going with a first-come, first-served model for vaccinations. They have since done an about-face, switching over to appointments.
In Central Florida, Lake County is still telling people they can show up without a reservation. Lake’s State Department of Health Officer Aaron Kissler says first come, first served is working for them.
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"I think what they’re looking for is a system that works for each county," Kissler told FOX 35 News.
Lake County vaccinations are happening outside the Clermont Arts and Recreation Center.
Health officials say they allow people to line up in their cars until they start spilling into the highway. That’s where they cut it off. Then, they say police aren’t letting anyone wait on the side of the road.
"We’re filling the line. We’re filling it to capacity and then once we clear that line, then we're bringing in another line," Kissler explained.
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Kissler says those who make the cut are only waiting two to three hours to get the shot. He says Wednesday, they gave out 900. Thursday, more than 1,100. The goal is to get through each batch of vaccine within seven days.
"The health department is really putting a lot of numbers into Lake County for the vaccinations, which is good," Kissler said.
Health officials say they are hoping to move to an appointment system in a few weeks but for now, they’re sticking with this model. Vaccinations resume Friday morning – cars are not allowed to line up before 7 a.m.
Watch FOX 35 Orlando for the latest Central Florida news.