90.7 WMFE and 89.5 WMFV are Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming and Classical Music. Part of the community since 1965, providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

Lake County’s coronavirus vaccination site humming along

Play Audio

Orlando Health critical care paramedic Tracy Harden works to vaccinate people in Clermont earlier this month. Photo: Joe Byrnes

Lake County’s first-come, first-served drive-in was running like clockwork Wednesday after the Health Department received 12,600 doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

It starts at 9 a.m. at the Clermont Arts and Recreation Center on U.S. 27.

The county hopes to open a site farther north, as well.

The seniors and medical workers getting vaccinated filled out forms in their cars and then parked in rows of eight in front of tents.

Nurses and paramedics gave the shots and monitored them for 15 minutes. They drove off with a vaccine card and the promise of a second dose.

Some seniors, like Tavares resident Charles Steiner and his wife, had tried numerous times to get the vaccine.

His main reason: he doesn’t want to die or lose his wife. Plus, his friends will have nothing to do with him.

“We go to the flea markets,” he said. “We go here. We go there. But we do wear our masks. We do follow the rules. But we’ve been friends for 25 years and now none of our friends want nothing to do because we go everywhere and they think we’re going to get it and give it to them.”

The vaccine will change that, he said.

“But I don’t know if I want to see them, because of the way they treated me.”

Pharmacist Sam Patel was there with his parents. He fears bringing the virus home.

“Because if we get infected,” he said, “you know chances they get infected and there’s much more problems. And so I want them to get vaccinated first.”

Cars can line up at 8 a.m. The line will close when it spills out onto the highway but then open again.

Seniors are urged to follow the Lake County Health Department on Twitter and check its website.


Get The 90.7 WMFE Newsletter

Your trusted news source for the latest Central Florida news, updates on special programs and more.

Stay tuned in to our local news coverage: Listen to 90.7 WMFE on your FM or HD radio, the WMFE mobile app or your smart speaker — say “Alexa, play NPR” and you’ll be connected.

WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity

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.