SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) — Four-thousand seniors are expected to receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in the city of Sarasota this weekend.
Two-thousand people will get their dose Saturday and another 2,000 more will get their dose Sunday. One-hundred-fifty volunteers will be working at the clinic.
City leaders wanted to help get seniors off the county’s wait list.
“We wanted to send a message to the governor that we can handle the doses you send to our community,” Sarasota Mayor Hagen Brody said.
The pop-up clinic is happening at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota. Vaccinations are for appointments only.
Seniors will come back in nearly a month to receive their second dose. Seniors will have to fill out another consent form.
Jim and Paula Boland have waited weeks to get their first COVID-19 vaccine. They said signing up at first was challenging. Saturday, it took them about 10 minutes to get their shots.
“It hasn’t been easy, it’s been confusing,” Paula Boland said. “It’s a big relief to now have gotten it.”
The state allocated 4,000 doses to the the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota.
Last week, 8 On Your Side obtained an email showing seniors in a southern Sarasota County subdivision got special access to a state-run vaccine clinic in Charlotte County.
“I am a fan of decentralizing the distribution a little bit, but as long as we’re getting people off of that list, it has to be fair, and as long as we’re getting people who have been waiting patiently off the list, we feel good about it,” Brody said.
As for the Boland’s, they say it’s a big relief.
“Makes you feel more comfortable when you’re out an about,” Jim Boland said. “We’re happy more people are getting it.”
Friday also marked one year since doctors and nurses at Doctors Hospital of Sarasota treated the state’s first confirmed coronavirus patient.