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Marion County prepares coronavirus vaccine outreach to far-flung areas


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Marion County Health Department Administrator Mark Lander says the department will begin sustained outreach to areas with poor access to the coronavirus vaccine. Image: Marion County via video


The Marion County Health Department’s coronavirus vaccination effort returned to headquarters Tuesday after 18 weeks at Ocala’s Paddock Mall.

Now the department is planning sustained outreach to far-flung areas lacking access to the vaccine.

Administrator Mark Lander says the Health Department is offering the vaccine at its main office from 3 to 6 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays. You can make an appointment, but walk-ins are also welcome.

Beginning next week, his staff will team up with churches — or other sites with air conditioning — in places such as Fort McCoy, Ocklawaha and Dunnellon, and parts of Ocala where people don’t have access to a Publix or a CVS.

“And it’s going to be a repetitive session,” Lander told the County Commission. “In other words, we’re not just going to show up at a church in Fort McCoy from 9 to 10 on Wednesday or Thursday or Friday. We’re going to show up there and then we’re going to be back there the same time the next week, back there the same time the next week.”

The Paddock Mall site closed on Thursday. So far about 42 percent of all county residents and 79 percent of seniors have gotten at least one dose.


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Joe Byrnes

About Joe Byrnes

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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.

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