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3,500 seniors getting vaccines at On Top of the World near Ocala

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis greets Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn, center, and On Top of the World Communities President Ken Colen at a vaccination event at OTOW on Friday. Photo: Joe Byrnes

Gov. Ron DeSantis stopped by On Top of the World near Ocala Friday to celebrate another temporary distribution site providing coronavirus vaccines to seniors.

After the press conference, OTOW President Ken Colen said his retirement community in Clearwater had a successful distribution in February. They’re getting the second shot now.

Then he worked with legislators and, indirectly, with the Governor’s Office to bring vaccines to the Marion County development.

OTOW staff scheduled the appointments, and 3,500 will get their first dose over three days. 

Colen says about half are residents. The rest are from surrounding communities.

“That was one of the conditions,” he said. “I said we’ve got to open it to everyone. You know, we’ve got it here but we need to really push it. So I’m thrilled. I am thrilled that we can get so many people in.”

DeSantis says this site and a two-day event next week at the Florida Horse Park are because Marion — at 43 percent — is behind in its vaccine coverage for seniors.


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Joe Byrnes

About Joe Byrnes


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.