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Door-to-door vaccination effort underway in some neighborhoods

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    ORANGE COUNTY, Florida (WESH) — Teams headed out to the Pine Hills and Lockhart areas on Tuesday to see if eligible homebound individuals would like to get a COVID-19 shot.

Orange County’s firefighters paired with crews from the state to get vaccines in the arms of the county’s most vulnerable.

The crews, around 150 people in total, headed out to the Pine Hills and Lockhart areas of Orange County early Tuesday morning. As of 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, officials said 29 people had been vaccinated so far.

They were prepared to register and vaccinate on the spot.

Because the state is supplying the doses, homebound residents have to be 50 years old or older.

Monday marked the first day vaccine recipients could be 40 or older at the Orange County Convention Center.

The change made by Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings has not been well-received by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

“Some of those counties like Orange County, they’re actually a little bit below the state average for senior coverage,” DeSantis said.

Demings noted in response that the early vaccine site locations were chosen without his input.

“If our numbers are below what it is in other counties it’s because of the decisions that were made somewhere else other than here,” Demings responded.

He said despite Desantis’ repeated disapproval, he’s seen no backlash and does not expect to.

“At the end of the day, I do believe that the governor’s goal is to increase the number of people who are vaccinated within the state of Florida. My goal is to ensure that happens within Orange County,” Demings said.

For the canvassing effort, Demings says those involved are wearing specific shirts and have been carrying photo identification showing they are members of the state emergency response team.

For now, the program will only be in Lockhart and in Pine Hills.

Demings says the next stop for the team will be to Rosemont.

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