JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – At 11 a.m. today, Duval County residents 65 years old and above, front-line medical workers and first responders will be able to get vaccinated for COVID-19 at two Jacksonville senior centers — not by appointment but based on birth month.
Vaccinations will still be given by appointment at the Prime Osborn Convention Center, but the demand for appointments has exceeded supply — which will likely continue for the near future. In response, the city announced last week that it was converting senior centers in Mandarin and on the Westside from COVID-19 testing sites to places to receive the vaccine.
Slowly but surely, vaccine distribution plans are expanding to different sites around the city and the state.
“If you look this week, we’re doing 50,000 to 60,000 shots in the state of Florida,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said. “We’re going to do much more when we get more vaccines.”
Even as more vaccines become available, area doctors say this process needed to be more organized.
“There is no coordinated plan to vaccinate 800,000 people from a priority perspective and there’s no equity established in the system,” said Dr. Jeffery Goldhagen, head of community pediatrics at UF Health.
All patients must provide a photo ID that shows their birthdate and proves Duval County residency. First responders and health care workers should also bring a work badge.
While vaccinations will be given on a first-come, first-served basis (no appointment necessary), eligible residents should only visit a vaccination site on the day associated with their birth month based on the following schedule:
- Monday – January and February
- Tuesday – March and April
- Wednesday – May and June
- Thursday – July and August
- Friday – September and October
- Saturday – November and December
These two vaccination sites will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Mondays through Saturdays:
- Mandarin Senior Center, 3848 Hartley Road
- Lane Wiley Senior Center, 6710 Wiley Road
After receiving the vaccine, patients must stay on site for at least 15 minutes to be monitored for potential reactions by health care and emergency professionals. Based on medical history, some individuals may be required to wait 30 minutes. While allergic reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine are rare, the city said, this safety measure is in place out of an abundance of caution. Patients will be able to opt in to receive email and text reminders about their second dose.
Between the two sites, the city hopes to vaccinate just under 1,000 people each day with the Pfizer vaccine — Mandarin will provide 500 vaccines a day, while up to 475 vaccines will be distributed at Lane Wiley, according to the city. When the daily supply has been depleted, remaining patients will have the option to return on their assigned day the following week or make an appointment with the Florida Department of Health for the Prime Osborn location.
Prime Osborn is still appointment only, but doctors say these three sites and hospitals won’t be enough.
“The idea that we are going to depend on them to implement our vaccine campaign is just not a viable plan to vaccinate 800,000+ people and to do it equitably,” Goldhagen said.
Goldhagen said there should be plans in place for elementary schools, health, community, and emergency operation centers to preparing to distribute the vaccine for when the supply becomes available.
“In minority and low income communities, in the same context that we have a food desert, we also have pharmacy deserts,” he said.
Pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens could soon have distribution plans, while DeSantis said announcements regarding distributions at Publix locations should be coming soon.
To assist with a safe and organized vaccination process, patients must adhere to the following guidelines:
- Masks must be worn at all times.
- Physical distancing requirements must be followed at all times.
- Individuals who are feeling sick should not go to a vaccination site.
- Patients should be in line no later than 6 p.m.
- Only caretakers may accompany patients who require assistance to a vaccination site.
- Patients must park in the designated parking areas; patients cannot be dropped off.
- Parking and waiting in line overnight will not be permitted.
- Patients should follow traffic patterns and instructions from traffic monitors (a map is available at JaxReady.com/Virus?).
Patients should print and bring a completed DOH Vaccine Screening and Consent Form to the vaccination site. The form is available at COJ.net/CovidVaccineForm.
The state Department of Health in Duval County began giving Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine on Jan. 4 to anyone 65 years of age and older and health care workers who were able to get an appointment.
New appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine will be added through the online system every Thursday at 5 p.m., the health department said. On Thursday, more than 400,000 people tried to get online to book the new set of appointments, temporarily crashing the website. All appointments were booked within one hour.
The health department said the link will change each week and will be posted on the alerts page on the department’s website: duval.floridahealth.gov.
For questions, citizens may visit JaxReady.com/Virus or call 630-CITY (2489) to be connected to a customer care representative.