PORT CHARLOTTE — A new coronavirus vaccination pop-up clinic opened Monday morning at the Port Charlotte Moose Lodge on Loveland Boulevard in Port Charlotte.
The Florida Department of Health in Charlotte County is distributing 1,100 doses of the Pfizer vaccine to eligible residents from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through Wednesday at the lodge, 3462 Loveland Blvd., Port Charlotte, FL 33952.
The vaccines are given based on appointments made through the state’s list of pre-registered eligible Florida residents.
In Charlotte County appointments can be made by calling 866-200-9160 (or 833-990-3549 for TTY users) or by visiting myvaccine.fl.gov. DeSoto County residents can register at the same site or by calling 1-866-201-7013 (TTY: 833-476-1026). The phone numbers for Sarasota County residents are 866-201-7170 (TTY: 833-476-1449).
Charlotte County Communications Manager Brian Gleason said the latest numbers show that 33,318 Charlotte residents have been vaccinated — 18,447 with the first dose and 14,871 with the second dose.
This week’s pop-up site follows backlash directed at Gov. Ron DeSantis after he gave 3,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses to select groups, including the high-end Kings Gate community in Port Charlotte in early February.
“This is part of our bigger strategy to increase rates of vaccinations,” said Joseph Pepe, head of the Charlotte County Department of Health.
The governor’s office did not return requests for comment.
On Feb. 21, 500 doses were administered at South County Regional Park in Punta Gorda as part of the state’s initiative.
Two other sites will open Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• Tringali Park Creation Center, 3460 N. Access Road, Englewood
• Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center, 75 Taylor St., Punta Gorda.
Vaccines also will continue to be given at Harold Avenue Regional Park, 23400 Harold Ave. in Port Charlotte.
First shots will be administered from 9 a.m. to noon. Second shots will be administered from 1 p.m.. to 3:30 p.m. on the date provided when first shots were administered.
Eligible Florida residents who pre-registered with the state vaccination website or call center will be contacted to schedule appointments.
When asked if other pop-up clinics could occur in the area, Gleason said, “There likely will be, but we do not have any information at this time.”
Physicians, nurses, pharmacists can provide vaccinations
The governor’s office announced Monday that licensed physicians will be allowed to vaccinate “any persons they deem to be extremely vulnerable to coronavirus” starting Wednesday, according to the governor’s executive order.
Advanced practice registered nurses and licensed pharmacists will also be permitted to vaccinate those determined by a physician to be extremely vulnerable to COVID-19.
A statement from the physician must be provided detailing that the patient meets the defined eligibility criteria established by a form prescribed by the Florida Department of Health.
“Medical practices that have signed partnership agreements with the Department of Health may be receiving vaccines to administer to patients depending on supplies,” Gleason told The Daily Sun. “No decision has been made yet on when that will happen.”