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DeSantis: Villages vaccine site to receive 4,000 doses with promise of regular supply

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the drive-thru site in The Villages would become permanent. Image: Video by The Florida Channel
Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the drive-thru site in The Villages would become permanent. Image: Video by The Florida Channel

Thanks to a boost in vaccines from the federal government, a short-lived mass vaccination site in The Villages will start up again.

This time Gov. Ron DeSantis is promising a regular supply of 4,000 doses.

On Jan. 12, DeSantis announced the opening of the Villages drive-thru site. Sixty-five thousand seniors signed up.

The provider, Global Medical Response, gave 4,000 shots the first week.

Then it ran out, and thousands lost their appointments.

Now the Biden administration has increased Florida's weekly allotment by 41,000 to 307,000 doses. And DeSantis says some will go to The Villages and other large retirement communities.

"Because of that increase, we are able to announce that beginning this Thursday that drive-thru site will be able to be open again," he said. "But this time it's going to be a permanent vaccination site."

Florida seniors can register at sumterfl.saferestart.net. But of course, the waiting list is already long.

The big enchilada

DeSantis is a fan of The Villages.

He calls it, quote, "the big enchilada" among Florida retirement communities.

"Hey, what's not to like about being in The Villages if you're a little bit older and very active," he said. "You have ... you play golf every day, you socialize, and then when everyone gets vaccinated I know the partying and the events you used to do can resume full throttle."

[audio mp3="https://www.wmfe.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/DeSantis-Villages2.mp3"][/audio]

A lot of those events -- like nightly concerts and festivals -- have already resumed or will start up soon despite the pandemic.

Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.