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Nearly 1,000 a day vaccinated at Jacksonville senior centers

Shots given at 2 centers 6 days each week

More people are getting vaccinated in Duval County. Locals 65 and older and frontline medical workers born in November or December got their turn Saturday.
More people are getting vaccinated in Duval County. Locals 65 and older and frontline medical workers born in November or December got their turn Saturday.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla – It’s been a full week of vaccinations at the Mandarin and Lane Wiley Senior Centers and the shots continued Saturday.

Duval County residents 65 years old and up and front-line medical workers can be vaccinated not by appointment, but instead, based on their birth month. Those with birthdays in November or December can get the shot at either senior center Saturday.

By 5:30 a.m., a dozen seniors were posted up in line, despite the city asking people to not line up until 10 a.m.

The Mandarin and Lane Wiley Senior Centers are open Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. or until they run out of shots for the day.

Jacksonville's COVID-19 vaccination requirements for anyone 65 years or older, healthcare workers, or first responders. (City of Jacksonville)

The city says the Lane Wiley and Mandarin Senior Centers have reached capacity every day this week so far. Between the two sites, the city hopes to vaccinate just under 1,000 people each day.

“I think it’s well organized,” said Terry Kelley who came to get the shot. “I just think you don’t know what to expect until you come out here.”

By 7 a.m., the parking lot at the Mandarin Senior Center was completely full. Jacksonville police officers had cones blocking the entrance and were directing drivers to park along Pine Acres Road and walk back to the site.

Twenty minutes after opening, the city said, the Mandarin site reached capacity with its vouchers for the day.

“I’ll wait until I get a ticket, then I’ll go home, have some breakfast, relax and come back maybe 1 or 2 in the afternoon,” said Greg Ahearn who came to get vaccinated.

The Mandarin site will provide 500 vaccines a day, while up to 475 vaccines will be administered at Lane Wiley, according to officials. The city of Jacksonville said to wear your mask, bring your photo I.D., and the screening consent form.

Over on the Westside at the Lane Wiley Senior Center, hundreds more were lined up hours before opening.

“It’s kind of brutal to have senior sitting in long lines like this and I’m really glad they open up up two more sites but they need more,” said JoAnn Hamilton, who came to get the shot.

When the shots run out for the day, people will have the option of returning on their assigned day of the following week or making an appointment at the Prime Osborn Convention Center, although new appointments fill quickly.

As of the Florida Department of Health’s Friday data, 41,317 people have been vaccinated in Duval County so far; 849,317 statewide. That’s nearly 4% of the population of Florida.

Both sites are closed on Sunday and will resume vaccinations for Duval seniors and first responders who have birthdays in January or February on Monday.

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