From shortage to choice: FEMA sites now offering Pfizer or J&J shots

2 COVID-19 vaccines being administered at 3 federally supported sites in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Starting Saturday morning, both the Pfizer and the Johnson & Johnson vaccines are available at the Gateway Mall, Normandy Community Center and Hammond Senior Center sites in Jacksonville.

Each eligible person receiving a vaccine at any of the thee Federal Emergency Management Agency sites in Jacksonville will be given a choice of vaccine.

  • Gateway Mall - 5200 Norwood Avenue - 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • Hammond Senior Center - 3312 West 12 St.
  • Normandy Community Center - 1751 Lindsey Road

RELATED: Which vaccine is best?

The Duval County Alert System sent an alert Saturday morning about who is eligible for coronavirus vaccines. (WJXT)

The Duval County Alert System sent out a message Saturday morning, reminding those signed up for its system about who is now eligible for a COVID-19 shot.

Those currently eligible to receive a vaccine at a FEMA site include:

  • Long-term care facility residents and staff;
  • Persons 65 years of age and older;
  • Health care personnel with direct patient contact;
  • All school staff and childcare workers;
  • The extremely medically vulnerable regardless of age with a signed waiver from your doctor;
  • Sworn law enforcement officers 50 years of age and older; and
  • Firefighters 50 years of age and older.

After many changes to who’s eligible for the shot, some said they thought more people would come out Saturday, particularly teachers -- since it’s the first weekend shots are available to them, regardless of age, in the city.

But there were no lines on Saturday at the Gateway Mall.

“I think now is just the point of getting the message back out to the community that they can come out here and get the shot,” said Demita Gamble, who got vaccinated Saturday.

FEMA said approximately 790 people were vaccinated Saturday at Gateway Mall. That’s just over a third of the 2,000 shots it can administer at the site per day.

It was a rainy end to COVID-19 vaccinations for the first Saturday at the Gateway Town Center.

“I expected there to be a longer line,” a Duval County teacher said.

“I don’t think it’s being advertised enough, and a lot of people really don’t know that this is going on,” said Roosevelt Gamble, who got vaccinated.

There were lots of changes in who can and can’t get the shot at this site. Some people said that could be part of why there isn’t much turnout right now.

“I think a lot of people are just skeptical about it and kind of afraid of it,” said Maxine Frison, who got the vaccine Saturday.

The Department of Health said that as of Friday, 137,499 people have completed their series of vaccines in Duval County. The series includes both doses of Pfizer and Moderna and the single shot of Johnson and Johnson.

The Department of Health said 1,902,314 people in the state have completed the vaccine series, which means both shots of Pfizer and or Moderna, and the single shot of J&J. Of them, 1,413,491 people are 65 and older.

The site at Gateway Mall is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said Friday he anticipates lowering the age of eligibility from 65 and up to either 60 or 55 and up as more vaccine becomes available later this month.

Locations and criteria to get COVID-19 vaccine

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