As the number of positive COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to rise, frustration is mounting among people eager to get vaccinated to protect themselves from the deadly virus.
So far, demand for vaccines is outpacing supply in both Pasco and Hillsborough counties — and when tickets are available to receive a vaccine, they are quickly snapped up.
Land O’ Lakes resident Jeff Cordover said he was finally able to get through, and he and his wife, Judy, were able to get their first dose of the vaccine.
Once there, the process went smoothly, Cordover said.
“The wait wasn’t bad. We had a 3 o’clock appointment, and we maybe waited 20 minutes or so,” Cordover said.
But his wife, Judy, said improvements are needed to make it less confusing to register for a vaccine.
“Getting the vaccine wasn’t the problem. The problem was getting into the computer to get the registration to get the vaccine,” she said.
The Florida Department of Health in Pasco County is offering vaccinations by appointment only to those age 65 and older.
Registering for the vaccine must be done through the department’s website.
Those wishing to obtain a vaccine are encouraged to check the website frequently for updates of when new registrations are being accepted. The sign-ups are based on vaccine supplies.
No new registrations were being accepted on the morning of Jan. 11.
Pasco County residence is not required, but snowbirds must remain in Pasco County for their second round — which is 28 days after the first appointment, the website says.
The health department’s current drive-thru vaccination clinic is at Sears in the Gulfview Square Mall, at 9409 U.S. 19 in Port Richey. However, efforts are underway to add a site in East Pasco, according to the health department.
To find out specifics for registering for a vaccine, check the website’s section on frequently asked questions.
Also, keep checking the website to find out if more vaccines have become available and more registrations are being accepted. The website is Pasco.FloridaHealth.gov.
Registration for vaccinations is free.
Pasco health department officials have issued a warning to make sure that people sign up on Eventbrite, using the link from the health department’s website. Someone has set up a fake account, in an attempt to scam people, the website says.
Hillsborough County, in partnership with the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County, will begin a second round of COVID-19 vaccinations this week for residents age 65 and older. Hillsborough has allocated 9,000 doses of the vaccine to be administered at three distribution sites from Jan. 13 through Jan. 15.
Appointments will be scheduled online by CDR HealthPro™ portal and by phone on Jan. 12. Residents age 65 and older can only make their appointments during the designated time frame specific to their age group.
Residents can visit HCFLGov.net/vaccine for additional information and updates.
Hillsborough has been using four distribution sites.
The two closest to The Laker/Lutz News coverage area are at: Ed Radice Sports Complex, 14720 Ed Radice Drive in Tampa, and at the University Mall parking lot, 2200 E. Fowler Ave., in Tampa.
While vaccination efforts continue, concerns are rising over the increased spread of COVID-19, and the rising number of deaths.
The Washington Post reported last week that the United States had marked another milestone in the pandemic, recording more than 4,000 deaths in a single day. It also reported that research suggested that people who have no symptoms transmit more than half of cases of COVID-19.
CNN, reporting data from Johns Hopkins University, said it took about 90 days for the United States to reach its first 2 million cases of coronavirus in 2020; this year, it took just 10 days to hit 2.2 million cases.
While Americans were warned about avoiding indoor gatherings, officials said they did just the opposite during the holidays — gathering with friends or extended family, which has resulted in packed hospitals across the country, according to CNN’s report.
COVID statistics, available as of Jan. 11, 10:30 a.m.
United States: Positive cases – 22,102,069; deaths – 371,084
Florida: Total cases: 1,477,010; including positive residents, 1,450,620; Florida resident deaths, 22,912; non-resident deaths, 349
Pasco County: 24,712 positive residents; 230 positive non-residents; 406 deaths
Hillsborough County: 85,784 positive residents; 725 positive non-residents; 1,121 deaths
Pasco County Schools: 1,067 student cases (13,251 students impacted); 506 staff cases (1,153 employees impacted)
Hillsborough County Schools: 3,341 positive cases, including 1,265 employees and 2,076 students.
Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Florida Department of Health; Pasco County Schools and Hillsborough County Schools.
Published January 13, 2021