1st dose vaccines run out at Jacksonville senior center sites

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – All first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at two senior center sites have been distributed, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry announced Thursday evening.

If you received your first dose at one of the senior centers, you will be able to receive your second dose at that same location. Otherwise, both senior center sites are now closed to new patients.

Friday was expected to be the last day that the senior centers would operate as vaccination sites, so Curry announced Thursday morning that the city was waiving the birth month requirement. Anyone age 65 and older, front-line health care workers and first responders could try to get one of the first-come, first-served vaccines from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday before the supple of first doses ran out.

Seniors taking advantage of the shots Thursday were impressed at how well it went since appointments were not required.

“I want the thing to be over with. The more people we have getting vaccinated, the better chance we have of getting back to normal,” Ngoma Woolbright said.

On Monday, there were long lines again at those sites as people 65 years old and over with birthdays in January and February were able to receive their first doses.

The city only received 11,000 doses of the vaccine designated for the two sites at the Mandarin Senior Center and at the Lane Wiley Senior Center site on the Westside. The city was able to give a limited number of shots each day, around 1,700, and hit its goal each day.

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George Schmitt said he was lucky to have gotten his first shot Thursday. He said the way the operation is being handled at the senior centers is how it should be done everywhere.

“I can’t explain how in the world they do the job they do,” Schmitt said. “They are fantastic. From start to finish they are excellent.”

Again, Curry said anyone who received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at one of the locations can return to the same center 21 days after for their second dose. The city has reserved enough vaccines to cover those second doses.

The city told News4Jax that it would be working to continue the senior site vaccinations in the future in some form, but the state is limiting where the vaccines can go, and the senior centers are not on the list.

Curry said in a tweet that the state of Florida is taking over vaccine distribution in the city. The new vaccination site is at the Regency Square Mall. Call 1-866-200-3762 to make an appointment at that site.

News4Jax has learned that UF Health is expecting to run out of vaccine this week. Its next supply allotment has not come in yet. It will take some appointments for its patients and said it has enough for second shots for those who received their first at their facilities.

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