No Lines, High Spirits At Jax Vax Sites As Florida Eligibility Age Drops to 40

Mar 29, 2021

People who are 40 and older are now eligible for the coronavirus vaccine in Florida, and at Jacksonville’s two major vaccination sites, the lines were short when WJCT News stopped by  and people’s spirits were high. 

“It’s emotional,” said Amy Love, 45, as she exited the vaccination site at the Gateway Town Center. “I’m very grateful and happy, and this was very efficient, and everyone was really nice.”

Love hurried over to Gateway on the first day she was eligible, as soon as her husband told her there weren’t any lines. 

At the Regency Square mall vaccination site, which is operated by the Florida Department of Health, there was no line at all as of early Monday afternoon. 

Vaccinations are also available at Edward Waters College and at many Publix, Winn-Dixie, and CVS locations, as well as at other supermarkets and pharmacies. 

The age of eligibility to receive the vaccine dropped from 60 to 50 last week, and will drop again to 18 on April 5. Teens aged 16 and 17 will also be eligible, but only for the Pfizer vaccine. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are currently in clinical trials exploring the safety and efficacy of their vaccines on children, according to the New York Times

As the number of people eligible for the vaccine expands, so too does the number of doses available. Gateway can now vaccinate up to 3,000 people per day, thanks to a decision from Gov. Ron DeSantis to allocate some state doses to the federally run sites. 

Also on Monday, President Joe Biden announced that 90% of adults will be eligible for vaccination and 90% will have a vaccination site within 5 miles of home by April 19. Notably, the expansion will include nearly $100 million in funding specifically to vaccinate vulnerable seniors and people with disabilities.  

Contact Sydney Boles at sboles@wjct.org, or on Twitter at @sydneyboles.