Seniors in Florida Camp Overnight for Vaccine

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla (AP) -
Health care professionals administer the COVID-19 vaccine at Lake-Sumter State College in Leesburg, Fla., on Friday, Jan. 1, 2021. (Stephen M. Dowell /Orlando Sentinel via AP)

Hundreds of senior citizens determined to get vaccinated against the coronavirus camped out overnight in frigid temperatures to secure spots in Tuesday morning’s line in Daytona Beach.

City officials tried to avoid a repeat of Monday’s traffic jams by opening a stadium’s parking lot to overnight camping for people 65 and older. By 7:30 p.m. Monday, senior citizens in some 200 vehicles were on the property.

The Daytona Beach News Journal reported officials planned to close the gates once 1,000 people entered, matching the number of vaccines available for Tuesday. The shots will be administered by Volusia County’s office of the Florida Department of Health.

The state has received more than 960,000 doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. By Monday, about 260,000 Floridians had been vaccinated, mostly health care workers and first responders, followed recently by the elderly.

About 83% of coronavirus deaths in Florida have been older than 65. Florida has one of the nation’s oldest populations, with 4.4 million of the state’s 21 million people 65 years or older.