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The Villages
Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Health department receives 1,000 vaccine doses to pick up where GMR left off

The Sumter County Health Department has received 1,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses to pick up where Global Medical Response left off when it abruptly closed its vaccination site in The Villages.

GMR without any notice shut down its vaccination site this past weekend in a grassy field near Buffalo Ridge Plaza.

A golf cart driver, right, waits his turn for a vaccination last week at the Global Medical Response site near Buffalo Ridge Plaza in The Villages.

“Since that time, the health department has been in contact with GMR and has received from them a list of persons that were appointed but did not receive vaccination. Additionally, the health department received 1,000 doses to vaccinate the public that can be applied to service this list,” said Dr. Sanford D. Zelnick, director of the Sumter County Health Department. 

These 1,000 doses are intended for those who received an appointment for Saturday, Jan. 16 but were not vaccinated. Appointments will also be scheduled for those who were to be vaccinated on the morning of Sunday, Jan. 17.

The health department will call these individuals to schedule the vaccinations on Friday, Monday and Wednesday.

“Beyond this, as additional doses are received by the health department from the State of Florida, I will continue to vaccinate the GMR appointment list in the chronological order of their scheduled appointment,” Zelnick said.

He added that those already requiring second doses must be given priority over the list of persons needing primary doses to ensure the success of the overall vaccination effort.  Second doses will be automatically scheduled and administered by the health department. 

“You will receive a vaccination card of that second dose appointment date. No further actions are required by you,” he said.

These vaccinations will take place at the Wildwood Community Center, on 6500 Powell Road (and not at the site where GMR was doing mass vaccination).  

A Sumter County Health Department nurse administers a COVID-19 vaccination earlier this month at the Wildwood Community Center.

“Additional vaccination sites may need to be sourced in the future as the situation warrants,” he said.

Zelnick said that those waiting for a second dose from vaccination clinics previously conducted by the Sumter County Health Department will receive a second vaccination on the date previously provided.

“Please allow me to close by thanking GMR for working with the health department to provide vaccination in the most orderly manner possible under difficult circumstances.  As the supply situation improves over time, GMR will likely assist the health department more directly by providing mass vaccinations,” Zelnick added. 

Those with questions can call the health department at (352) 569-3102. 

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