1st 600 in line today get COVID-19 vaccine in St. Johns County

Hundreds camped out in cars overnight; line at sunrise Saturday morning stretched 3 miles

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – COVID-19 vaccines are going fast in St. Johns County and people who qualify are going to extremes to try and get one.

The Moderna vaccine is currently only available for health care workers and people 65 and older, and the Florida Department of Health -- St. Johns County is giving shots throughout the weekend.

They announced just before 9 a.m. Saturday that the first 600 people in line that day would be able to get vaccines. Everyone else was turned away.

“What we’re going to do is distribute 600 armbands now so we don’t have people waiting absolutely any longer than they need to and we can do 600 and we will be here until we get it done,” said Jake Quigley, business manager with the St. Johns County Health Department.

Health officials said people waiting for vaccines on Sunday can expect the same armband process but at this time it’s unclear how many will be distributed.

After people were turned away when Friday’s allocation was gone before noon, people hoping to get shots on Saturday began lining up in their vehicles on Friday evening. Some people even brought RVs.

A woman in line overnight told News4Jax deputies were called when people started cutting into the line. By dawn, there were hundreds of cars in line outside the St. Johns County Health Department -- backing up about three miles along U.S. 1. New4Jax was told before 8 a.m. the Sheriff’s Office was planning to send deputies to make sure the travel lanes are not blocked and help manage the situation.

About the Author: