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Dr. Pino Says Orange County Convention Center Vaccination Site Will Close in May, Thanks Employees for Distributing Some 200,000 Shots

The Orange County Convention Center is funded in part by the Tourism Development Tax.
The Orange County Convention Center is funded in part by the Tourism Development Tax.

The Orange County Convention Center vaccination site will close in two months after opening in March. 

Staff will give the last first dose of the Pfizer shot at the Orange County Convention Center vaccination site on May 5. 

Orange County Health Department Medical Director Dr. Raul Pino says the decision was made for two reasons. 

First, the vaccination strategy is transitioning from large, mass distribution events to smaller sites in the community.

Second, he says the convention center needs space to hold more events.

“But I want our community to know, this is such an important asset in our community to have. And the employees there are such great people to work with that we can’t find the words to be thankful enough."

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Pino says some 200,000 residents have been vaccinated at the convention center.

And he says some 518,579 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been distributed at all vaccine sites in the county. 

Although he says these numbers are lower than they should be. They haven’t gotten vaccine numbers yet from the Orlando VA and they haven’t been able to view vaccine data from last Friday or Saturday due to a human error.

“Someone entered the letter ñ, into one of the codes. And it corrupted the code. Because it didn't recognize it. Now we know what the error was, we have to fix it. But they are trying to.”

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Pino estimates once these numbers are added in, the total could jump by as many as 20,000 first doses. 

He says 201,787 people or 15 percent of the Orange County population has completed either the two dose Pfizer or one dose Johnson & Johnson series so far.

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.