What you need to know as Clay County starts COVID-19 vaccinations

First round of appointments for available doses of vaccine filled

Clay County Emergency Management and the county’s health department have administered some doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, but the majority of vaccinations will start Monday, Jan. 4.

By early Wednesday morning, the first round of appointments for the county’s initial allocation of the vaccine was filled. The county then announced it would open appointments for four additional days at 10 a.m. Wednesday, but around an hour later, all appointments were filled again.

“I think the biggest confusion we saw last night was because of the limited amount of appointments we had available. We opened up the site yesterday morning and we had opened up seven days, because we do 224 vaccines a day, and so we opened up a certain amount of days and they literally filled up within three hours,” Clay County Emergency Management Director John Ward explained Wednesday. “Then we opened up the rest this morning and they filled up in 55 minutes for the rest of the 3,000 vaccines.”

Clay County received its first shipment of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, and the county will begin vaccinations with phase one priority groups:

  • Residents 65 and older
  • Health care workers

Appointments are required. But Florida Department of Health representatives said Floridians do not have to be residents of Clay County to make an appointment to receive the vaccine there.

Appointments opened Tuesday to start Monday, continuing from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at the UF/IFAS Extension Clay County Godbold Building at the Fairgrounds, 2463 State Road 16, west of Green Cove Springs. Those with appointments need to bring a mask and their ID.

Howard Perry and his wife were among the seniors who signed up to get the vaccine

“I think it’s the thing to do to kind of protect yourself,” said Keystone Heights resident Howard Perry.

The couple drove to the fairgrounds on Wednesday to see where they will need to go on Monday to get their shots. When asked whether the process has been confusing, Darlene Perry said: “No, not really. Not if you’re familiar with Clay County it’s not. You just got to find out what building you’re in. That’s what we’re over here doing today to find out what building to go to.”

Ward said they’re scheduled to administer their 3,000 shots until Jan. 20. He said they are not compiling a waiting list right now because it’s unclear when Clay County will get its second allotment.

Some emergency medical service workers and residents of independent living facilities like Moosehaven in Orange Park got the vaccine on Wednesday at the fairgrounds, but the main rollout will be Monday.

“Through the independent living communities, they coordinated that with their respective agency. The independent living community coordinates that. They brought their residents here,” Ward said. “It was just a soft opening yesterday and today, just to test the process. Then everything’s going to fall under the appointment-based process starting on Monday.”

Long-term care facilities like nursing homes are being handled separately on a federal contract.

For more information, visit alert.claycountygov.com.

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