St. Augustine, Florida. Cars began to park at 5:30 on Friday morning, hoping to be shot at before the office closes on New Year’s Day. The St. Johns County Health Department was supposed to remain open until 3 p.m., but lawmakers started turning people away around 11:30 a.m. – the day’s allotment of 330 rounds disappeared within two and a half hours.
The Department of Health announced that its office – in San Sebastian View, off U.S.A. 1 about one mile north of State Route 16 – will be open for vaccine distribution from 9am to 3pm on Saturday and Sunday.
After a day of confusion over COVID-19 vaccines that have pushed into long lines at the office, Jake Quigley, business director for the County Health Department, told News4Jax that there is no need to set an appointment to receive the vaccine.
According to Quigley, the phone system has broken down for scheduling appointments and there is currently no way to book a place. The administration’s website said all appointments for this week have been booked, however Some of the 280 vaccines given on Thursday were for people without appointments. Quigley acknowledged that there is confusion and frustration surrounding the administration’s distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.
There is an enormous demand that exceeds the supply of vaccines. Quigley said more than 55,000 people are competing for one of only 3,000 vaccines currently available in the county.
The streak is growing in St. John County to try to get the county’s first 3,000 vaccines. We knew you didn’t need an appointment. This is after the phone lines crashed. Their officials say Vaccine Sitting in the freezer their goal is to get arms shots. @ wjxt4 pic.twitter.com/kspLhKX0UC
– Brittany Muller (@brittMullerNews) January 1, 2021
More than 32 cars were in a queue outside the St. Johns County Health Department by 6:15 a.m., bound for US 1.
The department did not indicate that people who managed to make appointments would receive preferential treatment or would be treated first. Officials urge patience.
To receive timely updates regarding the Department of Health on the COVID-19 vaccination program in St. Johns County, send SJCVACCINE to 888777. For more information, visit www.sjcfl.us/coronavirusvaccinations.
at Provinces of Duval, Clay and Putnam Health departments have made clear that people who show up without appointments will not receive a vaccination dose. Duval and Clay began vaccinations for healthcare workers and people age 65 and over on Monday – but only by appointment.
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