PORT RICHEY, Fla- — Hundreds of Pasco County seniors got their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine Thursday, as the Pasco County Department of Health works to vaccinate everyone 65 and older who wants the vaccine.
Today was day one, and the National Guard helped the health department vaccinate around 500 seniors on a registration-only basis.
It was a sigh of relief for many seniors.
“This is the first step, and I believe that we will have a better new year, and we will get rid of this as a crisis,” said Kathleen Ackley, who received her COVID-19 vaccine from the Pasco County health department on Thursday.
The health department is currently working with just 3,500 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, distributing the majority of those to seniors.
“It seems daunting when you look at it, 130,000, but if we take it in increments of 3,500 at a time, then I think it’s more manageable,” said Mike Napier, a health officer with the Pasco County Department of Health.
Slots for both Thursday and Saturday quickly filled up.
Sunday's slots open for booking on Friday morning at 8 a.m.
But they’re urging people to check the site often, in case they’re able to add more reservation slots, which the health department is hoping to do for both Saturday and Sunday.
The department is also working to secure additional doses of the vaccine, and once they do, they’re hoping to expand availability to those who can’t travel to their site by going into senior living communities.
“We’re working with them to get consent forms filled out, and we’ll actually do the vaccines at their clubhouse or community centers,” said Napier.
If you do get a reservation for the vaccine, these are the things you must take with you:
- registration form
- state I.D.
- reservation number from Eventbrite website
“It was painless, and then they put us a time frame on our windshield, as to when they had to watch for us to have any reaction to the shot, and then they let us go,” said Ackley.
You can register for a vaccination slot, once they're available, by clicking here.