Official: No appointment needed at federal vaccine site in Jacksonville

People are encouraged to register for the shots online but it’s not necessary

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Starting on Wednesday, getting the coronavirus vaccine in Jacksonville should be a lot easier and hassle-free when the new federal site opens at 7 a.m. at the Gateway Mall.

According to organizers, if you meet the latest age requirements you don’t need an appointment to get the shot, although preregistration is encouraged by visiting or calling 866-200-3762.

The site had a dry run Tuesday and organizers said there should not be any delays or problems.

The two large tents at the site will handle 2,000 people a day to get the Pfizer vaccine shot. An additional 1,000 people can get the shot at two satellite sites.

People are encouraged to register for the shots online but it’s not necessary. You can get the shot if you meet the governor’s requirements which include those 65 and older, health care workers, K-12 school staff who are 50 years and older as well as law enforcement and firefighters 50 years or older.

Robert Spence of FEMA said the site has the capacity to expand or downsize based on the amount of vaccine that is available.

“Now with that pre-registration is preferred but regardless of the numbers we still have the ability to expand out. We believe we have enough insight that we don’t believe we will be overrun,” Spence said.

Even though it is a federal site, at this point you have to be a Florida resident.

The site will offer first or second shots of the Pfizer vaccine. Even though you may have got the Pfizer shot somewhere else you can just bring your vaccination records.

“The process we believe we have a down to 30 to 40 minutes to get the person in and out the door but again it depends on the amount of people that are here,” Spence said.

The two satellite sites will operate from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, while the main hub facility at the Gateway Mall will operate from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week.

The site is expected to be active for at least 60 days and will run in conjunction with the state vaccinations at Regency Square Mall.

If you meet the state's current requirements, but are still having trouble getting the vaccine -- things are about to change. A new federal site opening tomorrow at Gateway Town Center on the Northside will make it possible to receive the shot without an appointment. News4jax reporter Jim Piggott is joining us there LIVE.

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Jim Piggott is the reporter to count on when it comes to city government and how it will affect the community.