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Seniors wait hours to get COVID vaccine as supply runs low

DOH is no longer accepting new vaccination appointments
Posted at 6:10 PM, Dec 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-31 18:46:05-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - — Seniors over 65 in Leon County are finally able to get their first doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, but it's not coming easy for some.

While hundreds of people waited hours outside the health department to get their vaccine Thursday, doses are already running low for those eligible.

"We're feeling irritated. That would be a good way to put it. We had an appointment for 9:10 a.m.," said Danny Pietrodangelo.

Pietrodangelo was one of the hundreds that lined up outside.

"Just be patient," said Guy McKenzie. "It's earlier than we thought that we could get a shot."

The Department of Health said part of the issue is appointments. Many people in line didn't have one but they said it's because the help hotline wasn't allowing them to make appointments.

DOH Public Information Officer Pam Saulsby is asking people to be patient.

"We want them aware that our appointment line is currently overwhelmed and we are not accepting incoming calls to schedule appointments," said Saulsby.

DOH has already given out more than 1,700 vaccinations so far out of 2,500 vials they've received. Across the state, that totals more than 175,000. DOH said it does not know when a second shipment is coming.

Seniors are hopeful no matter how long they're waiting, this is a sacrifice that will help stop the spread of the virus.

"I think it's the thing to do," said McKenzie. "Everybody should participate in this if we're going to stop this pandemic."

Even though DOH is not accepting new appointments, if you've called already this week requesting a vaccination, DOH said you're in the waiting queue. Those people should be receiving a callback to schedule an appointment at a later date. If you'd like to find out more information, call (850) 404-6300.

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Data from The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.