vaccine

Like many counties across the state, Sumter County has been adjusting its COVID-19 vaccination rollout plans as vaccine availability and guidance evolve.

At the end of December, it had received 2,500 doses of Moderna vaccine and began scheduling vaccinations at The Villages Health, according to a Sumter County Department of Health news release. 

However, “subsequent guidance that our local servicing hospital at The University of Florida should receive those doses, vaccinate their patient-exposed staff and develop a plan for vaccinating the broader public as more vaccines and become available. That vaccine transfer of 1,800 doses to the University of Florida is occurring now,” Sumter County Health Department director Sanford Zelnick, D.O. M.S., is quoted as saying in the Jan. 5 release.

“On a positive note, despite the various logistical challenges we are facing, we successfully vaccinated our first 280 enrollees today,” he said in the same release.  

A similar vaccination event was planned for Jan. 7, which used Eventbrite for registration, https://sumtercovidvax.eventbrite.com. 

These vaccine events are free of charge, with no fees from Eventbrite or the Sumter County Health Department. Visit https://Sumter.floridahealth.gov for future vaccination opportunities and registration information. Call 352-569-3102 for more information, including vaccination locations and schedules.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has posted a pre-vaccination checklist at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/downloads/pre-vaccination-screening-form.pdf.

Once you have received the two-dose series, it may take several weeks after vaccination to develop immunity. It is therefore critically important that you continue to follow the general prevention guidance for at least 6-8 weeks after vaccination, according to Zelnick. These measures include wearing a mask, particularly when participating in indoor activities; maintaining social distance with inter-personal contacts as able; limiting unnecessary exposure to crowds; avoiding unnecessary travel; washing your hands and carrying portable hand sanitizer.