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With 50,000 registered, Marion County begins long process of vaccinating seniors

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Photo: CDC @cdc

The Marion County Health Department on Tuesday began the long process of vaccinating 50,000 people 65 and older who have signed up to get the coronavirus vaccine.

Beginning at noon, the first 240 or so seniors came in to the Ocala office for the first shot of the Moderna vaccine.

They registered last week and got a telephone call setting up the appointment.

Health Department Administrator Mark Lander says the county has suspended new registrations. It’s unclear when they’ll reopen them.

“We suspended them because we have 50,000 online registers,” he said. “Approximately 50 percent of our senior population has registered, which I think is amazing.”

He estimates it will take three months to fully vaccinate those already in line.

About 3,000 residents, mostly medical staff, have gotten a first dose so far.

The county is receiving 10,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine this week. And on Sunday, the department has plans — in conjunction with AdventHealth — to vaccinate about 900 medical workers.

Meanwhile, health officials say Marion County is seeing a “second wave” with increasing demand for ICU beds, high positivity rates and four to five deaths a day for the past week.

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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.