POLK COUNTY, Fla. — Vaccination appointments for Polk County seniors fill up within hours, but not every person 65 or older who wants a COVID-19 vaccine has been able to make an appointment.
1,410 people living in the Cypress Lakes 55+ Community in Lakeland are registered to receive the COVID vaccine. 82-year-old Sylvia Camerano got hers yesterday.
“It was very well organized. We had the paramedics, we had the nurses, the volunteers. They did a fantastic job,” said Sylvia Camerano.
The Polk County Health Department teamed up with the retirement community to hold a three-day vaccination event.
Meanwhile, many residents outside of this community have been unsuccessful in scheduling an appointment with the health department.
“I’ve been trying for weeks, ever since the governor mentioned that the 65 plus can now be vaccinated, and Polk County has just been silent, basically. They’ve mentioned nothing, except we’re in the planning stages,” explained Donna Durham.
The DOH posted a statement on its website Monday morning, inviting residents to schedule appointments, but did not mention how.
By that afternoon, the website said all appointments had been filled. Durham believes certain communities are getting preferential treatment.
“Why were they chosen to be first in line? Why pick a community and not offer it to everybody?” Durham asked.
The DOH said it is opening another round of registrations this Friday for COVID-19 vaccination appointments next week.
As of January 4, DOH-Polk has administered 4,801 COVID-19 vaccinations across the county.