More than 300 employees of Polk County Public Schools got an eagerly awaited shot in the arm during a COVID-19 vaccination clinic on Saturday.
The event took place at the Lakeland campus of Polk State College. National Guard troops and deputies with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office guided hundreds of vehicles though the drive-thru process. A total 314 employees (65 years and older) were vaccinated over the course of several hours.
“We can’t thank everyone enough for working together to make this possible,” said Teddra Porteous, PCPS’ associate superintendent of Human Resources Services. “People didn’t have to wait long at all; they got in and got out quickly. They were so grateful to have this opportunity. Hopefully, we can offer this soon for employees under 65.”
At this time, Gov. Ron DeSantis has directed that individuals 65 and older be prioritized to receive the vaccine.
Last month, PCPS employees were asked to fill out an online survey, indicating whether they were interested in being vaccinated. Approximately 5,000 employees under 65 expressed an interest in receiving the vaccine.
“Once the priority group is expanded to include essential workers, we will partner again with the Florida Department of Health in Polk County to make the vaccine available to more of our employees,” Porteous said. “Our goal is to make the vaccine available to any employee who wants it.”
PCPS plans to hold additional drive-thru clinics when more employees are eligible to receive the vaccine, and the FDOH is able to secure more doses.
“Please pay attention to your email, and we will continue to provide updates about our vaccination efforts,” Porteous said.