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St. Johns County COVID-19 vaccine appointments booked up

Starting Monday, county to give out shots by appointment only

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – There are no available appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine from St. Johns County at this time, county officials announced Sunday.

Officials said the remainder of St. Johns County’s limited initial vaccine allotment is allocated to those on the waiting list compiled by the Department of Health while the county awaits a second vaccine shipment from the state.

Once St. Johns County receives a new allocation of the vaccine, a registration system will be launched for residents to make an appointment to receive a first dose of the vaccine. The appointments will be available only to health care workers and those age 65 and up.

For updates regarding St. Johns County’s COVID-19 vaccination program, visit www.sjcfl.us/coronavirusvaccinations, call the St. Johns County COVID-19 vaccination hotline at 904-295-3711 or text SJCVACCINE to 888777.

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The announcement comes after the county government stepped in to help St. Johns County’s health department and take over the logistics of distributing the vaccine.

After several complaints of disorganization and long lines creating unsafe conditions in the county, the vaccine will be given by appointment only in the county, starting Monday. That’s when vaccine will begin to be given by appointment only at the Solomon Calhoun Community Center off State Road 207 in St. Augustine (1300 Duval St.).

County administrator Hunter Conrad said that when appointments begin, first doses will be given from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and second doses will be administered (by appointment only) from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

For several days, the county’s health department has offered COVID-19 vaccines on a first-come, first-served basis. That led to hundreds have people desperate to get the vaccine lining up in their cars for miles at the department’s office on San Sebastian View, off U.S. 1.

After many people camped out in their cars overnight to be sure of a spot in line, the health department opted Saturday to hand out 600 armbands and turn everyone else away.

On Sunday -- the department’s last day of first come, first served vaccinations -- 250 were expected to be vaccinated at the health department’s office. Deputies limited the line overnight so only the first 250 in line were guaranteed to get the vaccine. Everyone else was turned away. In addition, cars lined up in the county government complex parking lot instead of U.S. 1.

“As hectic as this has been, now we have a little peace of mind,” Tim Willits, who arrived 6 p.m. Saturday, told News4Jax on Sunday.

Hbernhard Clever, who arrived at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, said Sunday: “I think the organization today was better than yesterday. It’s just overwhelming with that many people who came want the shots.”

Conrad said that the slots for Monday have already been filled by the 200 people on the health department’s waitlist. The health department said that once those people are vaccinated, it will be the end of the department’s initial allotment of 3,000 vaccines.


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