Pinellas County to distribute 8,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to seniors

Pinellas County

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Linda West finally has a glimmer of hope. After weeks of trying to get her COVID-19 vaccination, on Friday she learned Pinellas County has 8,000 more doses to distribute and is more than ready to get hers.

“I have a house phone and I have a cell phone,” said West. “So I’ll have both phones on the telephone number and be on the computer on the website.”

West spent 30 years as an elementary school teacher in a Chicago suburb, so she understands the value of patience. But at this point, even hers is running out.

“Very frustrating and tomorrow, there’s only eight-thousand doses tomorrow,” said West. “So I don’t have great hopes of making it.”

Earlier this week, the county distributed 10,000 doses and the Department of Health Pinellas reports that appointments for those doses filled up in about 65-minutes.

Tom Iovino, a spokesman for the department says the agency went with a private vendor for signup and appointments.

“This is a contractor we brought on to have a more robust system,” said Iovino. “To handle registrations, to handle appointments.”

Iovino believes the department should be getting additional doses in the near future.

“We’re hoping through the months coming up that, both the manufacturers start to ramp up production, we’ll start receiving more than just a trickle,” said Iovino.

West is hoping that she’ll get on the list tomorrow. She has plans she doesn’t want to cancel.

“I’ll just keep on trying. My granddaughter turns two in March, up north, and I’m hoping to make it home for her birthday,” said West. “So, we’ll see what happens.”

Appointment pre-registration for anyone 65+ in Pinellas County reopens at Jan 23 at 10 a.m. with vaccinations expected to begin early next week.

Those looking to pre-register can do so here.

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