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DOH-Pasco health officer ‘shares public’s frustrations’, working to improve vaccine distribution


PASCO COUNTY, Fla (WFLA) – On Friday, 500 people received the COVID-19 vaccine at Saint Leo University. This was one of the first public vaccine events in the east part of Pasco County.

8 On Your Side spoke with Rachel and Manuel Melo, who have been trying for weeks to make a vaccine appointment and have been unsuccessful.

“Its unbelievably frustrating. It gets you uptight because you just keep checking the computer,” said Rachel Melo.

Pasco County’s Health Officer Mike Napier knows residents are frustrated.

 “We have 130,000 people in Pasco County that are anxious to get that vaccination and up to this point about 5,000 doses. It’s a tough sell,” said Napier.

He tells 8 On Your Side he feels the same way.

“I share in the public’s frustrations and I think that’s the nature of the business we are dealing with. We have a lot of people who want the vaccine and a small amount of it,” Napier added.

The department is working to find other ways to distribute the vaccine throughout the county.

“The drive-thru sites are the only locations to offer vaccine. We are working with our 55 and older communities, we are also starting to ask churches who have a congregation that might meet that need of 65 and older,” said Napier.

The Department of Health in Pasco County is expected to receive doses for next week. At this time it is not confirmed exactly how many doses they will be recieving.

DOH-Pasco is asking residents to visit to view vaccination locations and pre-register for upcoming appointments OR call 844-770-8548.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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