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FL DOH: Only 6% of children ages 5 to 11 have been vaccinated

Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 5:19 PM CST
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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - Only six percent of children ages 5 to 11 have been vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the state Department of Health.

It’s up to the legal guardian to decide whether to vaccinate.

The Heart of Florida Youth Ranch in Citra is a place where children who have suffered from abuse, neglect, or guardian abandonment come to heal.

“They are through DCF. They come into our care as a placement facility,” Sean Stephens said. Stephens is the Case Management Supervisor at the ranch.

He said it hasn’t been easy for the children who want to be vaccinated.

“We have to go through the family care manager, if they don’t want to give that consent then we have to try and go through their upper management and if that doesn’t happen then at some point there’s probably going to be a court order,” he said.

Roughly 90 percent of their children are still not vaccinated at the ranch.

The Department of Health in Marion County is one of several places where families can get the shot.

MCPS Officials said no vaccine clinics are scheduled.

The Health Department has operated off-site vaccine clinics in the past, but officials said there are no plans in the immediate future to host similar events.

“Certainly we’re not opposed to moving back and doing more community vaccinations, if we have partners reach out and contact us we would certainly put them in our schedule,” DOH-Marion Administrator, Mark Lander said.

Walk-ins are welcome at the Health Department Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at its main office, 1801 SE 32nd Ave., Ocala.

The vaccine is available for free.

Many of the non-profits we called said they don’t have any initiatives set up to help the people get the shot.

For those without access to a vehicle, SunTran may be the only option for inoculation.

“We’re doing everything that we possibly can to make sure that your medical needs, any type of rehab you need, we have it right here,” Ocala City Transit Manager, Steven Neal told TV20 on Oct. 28.

RELATED: Riders excited for SunTran bus upgrades

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