TAMPA (WFLA) – Governor Ron DeSantis was in Sun City Center as hundreds of seniors at the Sun City Center Community Association in Hillsborough received their COVID-19 vaccine shot on Wednesday. Many seniors have expressed frustration with the state’s vaccine rollout.
8 On Your Side took your concerns straight to Gov. DeSantis to learn more about the changes on the horizon.
“We call these things pods,” DeSantis said. “Basically, bringing vaccines where there is a high concentration of elderly folks.”
The drive-through site will vaccinate 1,000 seniors per day over the next five days, DeSantis said. Adults 65 and over are eligible to get vaccinated.
“You see golf carts and cars,” DeSantis said. “You can do either one.”
The governor said residents will need to sign up through the Sun City Center Community Association, but did not provide any information on how they can register. There is no information about this on the association’s website.
We’re told similar sites will be opening up around the state in areas where the need is great.
“People are in tears to be able to get through,” said Gov. DeSantis.
In recent weeks, 8 On Your Side has shown you, seniors on the verge of tears for a different reason: Frustration with the vaccine sign-up process.
We’ve seen websites crash, phone lines jam. While the governor says the problem is simply high demand, seniors believe it’s also the confusing and unpredictable sign-up process.
Every county, hospital, and provider has different rules leading many Floridians to wonder when the state will launch a statewide registration system that could bring order to the sign-up process
8 On Your Side pressed Gov. DeSantis for details on the pilot program.
“Some of the areas are using it now, it’s going to be expanded by the end of the week and then we do have the phone reservations going on as well,” said Gov. DeSantis.
Unable to ask follow-up questions, 8 On Your Side emailed the governor’s office to get you answers on when the system will launch.
As of Wednesday evening, we’re waiting to hear back.