MANATEE COUNTY (WFLA) – Manatee County Commissioner Misty Servia sent a letter to Governor Ron DeSantis this week, requesting a vaccine clinic in the district she represents.
In the letter, Servia explains District Four, which covers parts of South Bradenton, Bayshore Gardens, and Whitfield, is home to the oldest population in the county.
“I have an older population and they don’t feel comfortable necessarily traveling half an hour or 45 minutes out east to go to Tom Bennett Park. We still would pull from the randomized pool of people who have given us their names and say that they want the vaccine, it just gives us another option that is closer for them,” said Commissioner Servia.
She recommended four different sites for the pop-up clinic with reasoning behind the locations.
- Trailer Estates: approximately 1,200 residents, most are 65 and older
- Desoto Square Mall: struggling mall with large parking lot that would allow for a drive-thru clinic
- Bayshore Gardens Recreation Center: centrally located and large area with indoor space that would be ideal for mobile clinic
- Golf Lakes Estates: nearly 1000 residents, most are 65 and older
Manatee County became a spectacle over the last several weeks following a controversial and exclusive state-run pop up clinic in Lakewood Ranch. The site at Premier Sports Campus was limited to two zip codes in a more affluent part of the county.
“The difference between this clinic that I am asking for and what we saw out at Lakewood Ranch, is this clinic would be available to anyone in our community even in Sarasota who wanted a shot and who had registered with Manatee County,” said Servia. “It just gives more options. The more options that we have and the more vaccines that we have, I think the faster we inoculate people and the closer we get to herd immunity. It is a win-win,” she continued.
In a call to Manatee County residents earlier this week, Governor DeSantis said Manatee County is falling behind the state average in terms of seniors vaccinated in the county. He said his goal is to get the county past the 50% mark.
As of this week, there are around 90,000 seniors waiting to be called from the county’s random vaccine waiting pool.