POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – State-run, FEMA-supported vaccine sites in Polk County will shift from administering first doses without an appointment to second doses beginning Wednesday.
The Haines City site, at Oakland Neighborhood Center, wrapped up its first dose distribution Tuesday.
The team will go back to Lake Maude in Winter Haven to begin giving out second doses.
On Monday, the Haines City site administered 324 of its 500 doses, a state official said.
Leftover doses are not opened and are put back into the inventory for the next event, the official added.
“We’ve been working diligently with FEMA to make sure that every citizen in Haines City and beyond could get a vaccine, first and second dose,” Haines City Mayor Morris West said.
Mayor West said the Health Department in Polk County hosts appointment-only vaccine events at Lake Eva Center but not everybody in the Haines City area has the ability to sign up.
“A lot of our citizens could not go online and make those appointments. Therefore, FEMA stepped in and placed a site in an area for individuals who could not get to that Lake Eva or any other site,” Mayor West said
Mayor West has also heard from residents who are hesitant about the vaccine. He got his first dose this week.
“To all citizens, as the mayor of Haines City, I will assure you that all of these vaccines, regardless of which one that you take, are very safe,” Mayor West said.
“I am a retired RN. I think vaccinating is very important. I think everyone should do it,” said Vivian Kositz, who got her vaccine Tuesday with her husband, Jim.
“I feel a little better, safer. I got a husband, he got cancer and we all need this,” said Frankie Fowler, who got her vaccine Tuesday.
The health department in Polk County continues to receive 7,000 first doses and 7,000 second doses from the state each week.
The health department vaccinates people from their phone and online registration system.
Health officials say anyone over the age of 18 who wants a vaccine should sign up now.
After all, it took just a week and a half for the governor to lower the eligibility age from 60 years and older to 50 years and older.
“I’m sure we will continue to see that become lower and lower as vaccine continues to become more widely available,” said Nicole Riley, department of health spokesperson. “So, for those individuals who are interested in receiving that, go ahead and get registered in our system.”
To register for a COVID-19 vaccine in Polk County visit the health department’s website.