OKEECHOBEE – Tiffany Collins of the Okeechobee County Health Department stood in front of the building on Northwest Ninth Avenue on Monday morning chatting with those seeking appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations. No appointments are available, she explained. The health department’s remaining stock of the vaccine will be distributed today, Tuesday and Wednesday and appointments have been made for all available doses.
She said Okeechobee County will not get a distribution of the vaccine this week. Lee County Health Departmentis the only one in the region to receive vaccine this week.
Those who don’t have an appointment could still get lucky if they happen to be near the health department at the right time. Collins explained that some people don’t show up for their appointments and some people who have appointments can not get the vaccine due to medical exclusions. For example, a person who was vaccinated for something else within a certain time period may not be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine yet. Once they open a vial, which contains 10 doses of the vaccine, they have to use it all. It can’t be stored. So occasionally, they offer vaccinations to those who just happen to be in the area, if they are health care professionals or over the age of 65.
Collins said they will not allow people to gather in front of the building for long periods of time, but you can stop by and wait for a few minutes periodically if you want to try your luck.
Collins said they don’t know when they will receive more vaccine. She said for announcements regarding future appointments, watch the health department website http://okeechobee.floridahealth.gov/, or the Lake Okeechobee News. The Lake Okeechobee News website is SouthCentralFloridaLife.com.