Appointments for 7,500 people eagerly awaiting COVID-19 vaccinations in The Villages have been postponed due to a failed shipment of the vaccine. A “national shortage” is being blamed.
Days after Gov. Ron DeSantis came to tout a new COVID-19 vaccination clinic set up in The Villages, the lack of available vaccine has temporarily pulled the plug on the operation. It is not known when the vaccine shipment might arrive.
The latest snafu in the desperate battle to secure a life-saving dose, is clearly frustrating Villagers.
“I can’t believe that the people in Washington state and Georgia have been able to get the vaccine so easily, and probably many other states I don’t know about and we in Florida, thanks to our governor’s ineptitude, are having such a hard time. Guess it didn’t do him much good to be such a Trump supporter,” said Julie Pennell of the Village of Santiago.
DeSantis spoke Tuesday at the drive-through vaccination site which has been set up in an empty field behind Red Lobster at Buffalo Ridge Plaza that caused mass confusion a day earlier among residents who are desperate to get the inoculations.
Issues arose among residents after The Villages Daily Sun promoted the clinic that’s being operated by Global Medical Response and the company’s online signup site asked for Social Security numbers and insurance information, causing fears that it might be some type of scam. Days later, vaccination seekers were instructed to enter 111-111-1111 rather than their Social Security numbers, in an attempt to allay fears of anything sinister.
Global Medical Response on Saturday issued the following guidance for those seeking the vaccine:
- If you received an appointment for your second dose, your appointment will remain as scheduled until further notice. If we do not receive the necessary doses, we will reschedule your second vaccination appointment.
- All 7,500 scheduled appointments for first doses, including those who received scheduling codes but have not yet scheduled, have been placed on hold until we receive adequate supply of the vaccine.
- If you have registered but have not yet received a scheduling code, you will remain waitlisted in the order received. Rest assured, you will not lose your place on our registry.
- We will continue to process registrations for vaccines and place individuals on the waitlist to adequately assess demand and report those totals to the Florida Department of Health.
DeSantis was in The Villages in December as the vaccine was administered to five high-profile Villagers with strong GOP ties. He used the event to promise that seniors would not have to wait for the COVID-19 vaccine.
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