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Health Department responds as demand for vaccinations slows in Marion County

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Last week the number of Marion County residents getting their first shot of a coronavirus vaccine plummeted by 44 percent.

And now the Health Department is trying to reach people at the days, times and locations convenient for them.

Marion County Health Department Administrator Mark Lander’s strategy includes firefighters helping the homebound and teams vaccinating people at work.

“We’ve saturated the vaccination efforts in some of our older populations,” he told the County Commission. “And now trying to reach that younger population it’s been a little bit difficult.”

The Paddock Mall site will close May 27th. But people are still getting first and second Pfizer shots there — and the one-shot J&J vaccine.

The department has done pop-up sites at businesses and social service locations, like the Salvation Army. This week a team is vaccinating employees at Ocala’s FedEx facility.

Next month, crews will begin visiting smaller businesses, too.

So far, 43% of residents 16 and up have gotten at least one shot. And 28% of the population is fully vaccinated.

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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.