Flagler County receives its 1st doses of COVID-19 vaccine

Plans to distribute underway

FILE - Boxes containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are prepared to be shipped at the McKesson distribution center in Olive Branch, Miss., Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, Pool)
FILE - Boxes containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are prepared to be shipped at the McKesson distribution center in Olive Branch, Miss., Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, Pool) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

The Florida Department of Health in Flagler County received its first allotment of the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday and is working with Flagler County Emergency Management to finalize distribution.

According to Heath Officer Robert Snyder and Emergency Management Director Jonathan Lord, doses in this initial shipment have been earmarked specifically for health care providers in the community. It is anticipated that other priority groups, particularly those over the age of 65, can begin to receive vaccinations in the coming weeks, as additional doses are delivered.

“We are happy to share that paramedics, nurses and health department staff will receive their first doses of Moderna vaccine tomorrow,” Snyder said Monday. “We will start vaccinating other priority groups as additional vaccines are provided.”

Health care professionals who do not work directly for a hospital, nursing home or long-term care facility can receive the vaccination Saturday, Jan. 2, at a one-day event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Flagler County Fairgrounds at 150 Sawgrass Road in Bunnell. These workers include people with direct patient contact who work in doctor’s offices, clinics, dentist offices, home health care, urgent care, hospice and pharmacies. They will need to show government-issued photo identification, as well as official identification from their health care employer or similar proof of employment to receive the vaccine.

The next priority group will be people over the age of 65, per Gov. Ron DeSantis’ most recent executive order. Flagler County residents meeting this criterion can make appointments to be vaccinated starting in early January. The timing will depend on when the health department receives the next allotment of vaccine, ideally as early as next week. Details, including the reservation phone number will be shared, as they are finalized.

Starting Jan. 4, COVID-19 testing will continue between 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. weekdays across from 120 Airport Road. There will be no testing at Cattleman’s Hall that week. These are PCR not rapid tests. Residents should note that there are other locations in Flagler County that provide COVID-19 testing, including two Mediquick locations, CentraCare and CVS pharmacies. Please confirm with each site in advance as most require appointments for COVID-19 testing.

COVID-19 health-related questions should be directed to a health care provider or the Florida Health hotline at 866-779-6121. Additional information can be found at floridahealthcovid19.gov/.