The Department of Health in Citrus County is making a few changes to how it will offer coronavirus vaccines Saturday at Central Ridge District Park, but most of the process will mirror the earlier event.
The drive-thru clinic will be similar to the clinic the DOH operated Thursday, Jan. 7, in which 800 people were vaccinated. The process will remain a first come, first served basis at the 6905 N. County Road 491 facility in Beverly Hills. The vaccines will only be available to those 65 years and older.
But on Saturday, motor homes will this time not be allowed into the park for occupants to be vaccinated, DOH spokeswoman Audrey Stasko.
On Thursday, people wanting vaccinations came with about a dozen motor homes. Stasko said they are too high to fit under the DOH tents for health workers to collect recipient information and to inoculate them. The vehicles also encourage people to camp outside the park along County Road 491 the night before the park opens.
The vaccinations started 9 a.m. Thursday, as they will Saturday, but hundreds of people parked outside the park Wednesday night to improve their chances of getting the vaccine.
Stasko said the DOH does not want people parking by the park the night before. It is dangerous.
“We’re requesting people not show up early,” Stasko said. “We’re not encouraging anybody to stay overnight.”
If people want to avoid long lines and not show up early, people can always wait until the vaccines are more available in the future, she said.
As for more vaccines later this month, Stasko said, “We don’t have any word on more supplies, but we hope to hear next week.”
Stasko warned that as people rush to get the vaccine and are vaccinated, they still need to take precautions such as wearing a mask and keeping their social distance.
The shots are available to all Florida seniors, regardless of what county they line in, Stasko said. The vaccines come from the federal government.
Eventually, other government and private sector bodies will offer the vaccines, she said, rather than only the DOH.
When people arrive at the park for vaccinations Saturday, DOH staff will tell them if there are enough doses available for them or for them to return the next time the clinic is available.
Stasko also wants to remind people that the DOH will contact people when it’s time for their second, follow-up vaccine shots. The Moderna vaccines require two doses.