904-255-5211 [email protected]

Jacksonville, FL (February 3, 2021) — Since December of 2020, as the COVID-19 vaccine was officially distributed to the State of Florida, our District 11 office has received numerous calls and emails requesting information on vaccine availability, the vaccination process, eligibility requirements, and ability to schedule appointments. Due to having no authority within this process as a City Council, it has been equally frustrating to not have the answers nor any additional information than most constituents were already getting from the local news and media sources by direct updates from the State and Department of Health. 

Councilman Becton understands how this ongoing, ever-changing situation of events has been confusing and frustrating and wants to help provide information where information is available to better assist. 

 In a recent email response to a constituent, Councilman Becton wrote:

 “The City Council has no authority over the distribution of the COVID-19 Vaccine. This process is being managed by the State of Florida Health Department. However, as I am updated on expanded distribution sites, I will keep everyone updated thru my website, the NextDoor app and thru communication blasts when appropriate.”

In keeping with that obligations, the District 11 office has compiled the following information and posted it on our website, in hopes that it can be helpful to everyone in understanding the process and need of direct contact information. 

COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution:

A common question is “When will the vaccine become available to everyone?” According to the CDC, “Manufacturing very large quantities of vaccine takes time. The goal is for everyone to be able to easily get a COVID-19 vaccine when large quantities are available for distribution.

CDC and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices have published recommendations for which groups should be vaccinated first to help guide decisions about how to distribute limited initial supplies of COVID-19 vaccine. 

CDC makes recommendations for who should be offered COVID-19 vaccine first, and each state has its own plan to prioritize, distribute, and allocate vaccine. Learn more about how CDC makes vaccination recommendations. As more vaccines are authorized for use in the United States and the supply of vaccines increases, several thousand vaccination locations will be available, such as doctors’ offices, retail pharmacies, hospitals, and federally qualified health centers. Please contact your state health department for more information on its plan for COVID-19 vaccination.”

Duval County Vaccine Eligibility:

The State of Florida is currently prioritizing:

  • Persons 65 years of age and older
  • Health care personnel with direct patient contact
  • Residents and staff of long-term care facilities
  • Persons deemed to be extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 by hospital providers

According to the CDC website, the supply of COVID-19 vaccine in the United States is currently limited, CDC provides recommendations to federal, state, and local governments about who should be vaccinated first; however, it is up to the state to decide who is eligible to receive the vaccine.

“The goal is for everyone to be able to get a COVID-19 vaccination easily as soon as large quantities of vaccine are available. As the vaccine supply increases, more groups will be added to receive vaccination. Learn more about CDC recommendations for who should get vaccinated first.”

Vaccination Sites in Duval County:

***Updated on February 4, 2021***

The City of Jacksonville announced in a press release on February 4th more vaccines will be distributed by the city within a two day window. The press release reads:

“Vaccines will be administered at Clanzel T. Brown Senior Center (4575 Moncrief Road – 32209) Friday, Feb. 5, and Saturday,Feb. 6, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. By State order, the vaccines are still limited to individuals who are 65 years of age or older, frontline medical personnel or first responders. The Florida Health Department has supplied the City with 975 vials of each dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Five hundred vaccines will be administered the first day, while the remaining 475 will be administered the following day.

‘When we are given the resources and opportunity, the City of Jacksonville is able to quickly and efficiently stand-up operations to safely get this life-saving vaccine to the public,” said Mayor Lenny Curry. “If and when more vaccines become available, we will be ready to open additional sites in other areas of the community.’

No appointment is necessary, but to avoid large crowds and promote responsible physical distancing, eligible patients should only visit the vaccination site on the day associated with their birth month:

Friday, February 5th : January – June
Saturday, February 6th :  July – December

All patients must provide a photo ID that shows their birthdate, while first responders and healthcare workers should also bring an employee badge. For convenience, patients will be offered a voucher that allows them to return to the site the same day to receive the vaccine.

While the DOH Vaccine Screening and Consent Form will be at the site, patients are encouraged to print and bring a completed form to reduce their wait time. The form is available at COJ.net/CovidVaccineForm. To facilitate a safe and organized vaccination process, patients must adhere to the following rules

– A mask must be worn at all times.

– Physical distancing requirements must be followed at all times.

– Individuals who are feeling sick should not go to a vaccination site.

– Patients should be in line no earlier than 8 a.m. and no later than 4 p.m.

– Only caretakers may accompany patients who require assistance to the vaccination site.

– Patients must park in the designated parking areas; patients cannot be dropped off at the     line.

– Parking and waiting in line overnight will not be permitted

After receiving the vaccine, patients must stay on site for at least 15 minutes to be monitored for potential reactions by healthcare and emergency professionals. Based on medical history, some individuals may be required to wait 30 minutes. While allergic reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine are rare, this safety measure is in place
out of an abundance of caution. Patients must return to Clanzel T. Brown Senior Center 21 days after the first shot to receive the second dose. Reminders about the follow-up appointment will be provided via phone call and text message.”

 

As of February 1st, the only vaccination site in Duval County distributing the first dose of the vaccine is the state-run site:

Regency Square Mall
State of Florida Managed Facility
Appointment Only
9501 Arlington Expressway
Jacksonville, FL 32225
 
To schedule an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine at the Regency Mall,
individuals can Call (866) 200-3762 or go Online to myvaccine.fl.gov
The vaccine is being distributed in a separate area at Regency from the COVID-19 testing operations taking place on site. The Regency Square Mall vaccination site currently operates from 9 am – 5 pm, 7 days a week by appointment only. To make an appointment for the vaccine, you must be a frontline health care worker or 65 years of age and older. One thousand appointments can be scheduled each day as supplies afford. 
Prior to the state-run site opening for vaccinations, the city had opened two city-run testing sites which were then converted to vaccination sites, Lane Wiley Senior Center and Mandarin Senior Center, to distribute the first batch of vaccines in which the city was supplied by the state. However, as of January 22nd, both locations had run through its supply of first doses and had to close temporarily stop processing first doses. The city reported that those who had received their first dose of the Pfizer Vaccine at these two centers would return to the same location, 21 days later, to receive their second dose.
 
“The city has received from the State approximately 23,850 vaccines for city operated sites only, however, half of those vaccines, have been designated and distributed to recipients as their 1st dose and the other half were held in order for those same recipients to receive a 2nd dose, Council Member Becton explained. Right now, future distributions of the vaccine are not reliable nor consistent enough for the city to distribute its’ entire supply as first doses and then to rely on more vaccines to become available for the second doses weeks later. Therefore, in the abundance of caution, if the city is supplied 10,000 vaccine doses, only 5,000 citizens are vaccinated.”
           
According to a COJ press release, “following the temporary closure of the City-operated vaccine sites for 1st doses, the State of Florida will manage all 1st dose vaccine distribution in Duval County at the Regency Mall facility until further notice.”
 
As reported by the administration to the Neighborhoods, Community Services, Public Health and Safety Committee (NCSPHS) on February 1st, there are two types of vaccination sites being setup and managed, one site run by the State and two sites being run by the city,” Council Member Becton explained. The primary site is run by the State of Florida Department of Health and now managed by the Department Emergency Management (DEM) and as more vaccines become available, the city does have the ability to expand its footprint to offer multiple vaccination locations. The opening of these city-run sites strictly depends on the SUPPLY of the vaccine to the city. As those supplies become limited, these secondary city locations will open and close for first time recipients.”
 
During the NCSPHS Committee’s discussion regarding the vaccine and the administration’s update, Council Member Becton’s questions enabled the gain of additional information that would have been ignored otherwise. Councilman Becton said a summary of this new information is as follows:
 
“Questions have been asked regarding the opening of vaccination sites in nearby counties, such as at grocery stores and other retail locations. These additional sites are being utilized due to those counties having limited public facilities to distribute the vaccines, not because of additional vaccines being supplied to those counties. Duval County currently has sufficient public facilities to handle the current need, but the problem continues to be the shortage of supply coming into Florida. Florida is not the only state facing this dilemma as every state throughout our country is being overwhelmed by the demand against limited supplies. Florida is doing as good or better job than most in that regard. If supplies become more abundant, the city has committed to working with various retail and institutional partners to provide a much more wide-distribution net and making available more sites for vaccinations. But until then, what the city has been providing has be given high marks for its efficiency and progress in getting better each day with its ability to serve the needs of our communities during these most difficult times.”
 
Scheduling Vaccination Appointment:
A new website, myvaccine.fl.gov , was announced on January 29th by the State of Florida to make it easier for eligible residents, front-line healthcare workers and people 65 and older, to schedule an appointment for the vaccine at the Regency Square Mall location, and other state-run vaccination sites.

According to WOKV, “Once you are on the site, you’ll select the county where you live and put in your contact information. Once appointments are available, the state says you will be contacted by phone, text, or email.”

The state also says for people without internet access, there is a designated phone number that people can call to pre-register. Below we outlined the specific numbers for each of the Northeast Florida counties;

Duval – (866)-200-3762 – TTY: (833)-476-1027

St. Johns – (866)-201-7268 – TTY: (833)-476-1448

Clay – (866)-201-4706 – TTY: (833)-476-1037

Nassau – (866)-200-3576 – TTY: (833)-476-1515

Baker – (866)-200-3574 – TTY: (833)-476-1446

The website is also beneficial for those who do not fall into the prioritized categories by allowing all individuals to sign up for updates for when they will become eligible for the vaccine.

2nd Dose Information:

For those who already had a 1st dose, you do not need to make an appointment for your 2nd dose. Recipients receive a vaccination card at the 1st dose appointment, which will include the date and time for the 2nd dose appointment on the back. The date will be the 28th day since receiving the 1st dose and the time will be the same time as your 1st dose appointment. You will need to bring this card to your second appointment. For example, if your first dose was December 28th at 2pm, you will return to the Prime Osborn for your second dose on January 25th at 2 pm.

The City of Jacksonville starts distributing the 2nd dose of the vaccination on February 1st, to the residents who received the 1st dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at one of the two City-run sites:

Lane Wiley Senior Center
6710 Wiley Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32210

Mandarin Senior Center
3848 Hartley Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32257

According to the COJ press release dated January 28th, “Residents will be able to return to the location where their 1st shot was administered for the 2nd shot. Patients can visit the sites Monday – Saturday and should arrive within the hour associated with the first letter of their last name. The time slots are as follows:

A – D  9:00 – 10 a.m. Q – T 1:00 – 2 p.m.
E – H 10:00 – 11 a.m. U – W 2:00 – 3 p.m.
I – L 11:00 – 12 p.m. X – Z 3:00 – 4 p.m.
M – P 12:00 – 1 p.m.

Those who are not able to visit at their assigned time should go to the site between 4:00 – 5PM

Patients must bring their I.D. and the Vaccine Card (shot record card) that they were given when they received the first dose of the vaccine. The press release also states, “while copies of the COVID-19 Vaccination and Consent Form will be available at the vaccination sites, patients are encouraged to also bring a completed form to reduce the wait time; the form can be accessed at www.COJ.net/CovidVaccineForm. Patients will receive a reminder phone call from the City of Jacksonville, the day before and day of their appointment.”
Receiving Updates About COVID-19 Vaccine:
You can enroll in a phone updates about the vaccine and distribution from Governor Ron DeSantis, which are distributed via cell phone. To enroll, text FLCOVID19 to 888777.
 
Additional Duval County Contacts:
DOH-Duval’s COVID-19 call center is available to answer questions at 904-253-1850. The call center is available Monday-Friday, 8:00am-5:00pm. You may also email your questions, comments, and concerns to [email protected].
 
The administration reported that as of February 2nd “11,925 citizens have received their first dose at the two city-owned vaccination sites, and another 72,000 received the first dose at the state-run site, totaling 84,000 in Duval County. Across the State, over 1.7 million have been vaccinated. All first dose recipients are now being vaccinated with 2nd doses, as we speak.”
This article will be updated on our website as more information becomes available.
By Tiziana Onstead, District 11 Executive Council Assistant