A new coronavirus vaccination site is opening in Jacksonville at Edward Waters College. The Historically Black College will distribute about 200 doses of the Moderna vaccine per day and will prioritize residents of the New Town neighborhood where the school is located.
“The goal here is to be able to reach anyone who may fall through the cracks, who doesn’t necessarily have access to a retail pharmacy or a hospital,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said during a Thursday visit to the college. “And so I want to thank Edward Waters for stepping up and being willing to get involved here.”
The site will be run by Agape Family Health.
DeSantis celebrated Florida’s progress with vaccinating people over the age of 65, saying that several counties in Northeast Florida were well ahead of the state’s average. In Duval County, 55% of seniors have gotten at least one shot of the vaccine; in St. Johns County, it’s closer to 75%.
“Hope is alive, and hope is alive because of a plan and a strategy,” said Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry at Thursday’s news conference. “Thank God we live in Florida. Our schools are open. Businesses are open in a safe and responsible way, and we are at a tipping point, I believe in the near future, of turning a corner and getting back to normalcy.”
The announcement comes as vaccinations continue to ramp up at retail locations: Distribution is available in 25 Publix supermarkets and 18 Walmarts in Duval County alone. Southeast Grocers, the parent company of Winn-Dixie and Harvey’s supermarkets, also announced Thursday that it would open two new vaccine sites in Duval, bringing that company’s total to seven.
New vaccination sites were also announced at two Winn-Dixie stores in Nassau County and one in St. Johns County.
Qualifying individuals can visit this website to find participating stores and check for open appointments slots.
Despite increasing locations offering the vaccine, the supply remains limited. During Thursday’s news conference, DeSantis said he hoped the shortage would ease once the approval process for the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine is complete.
Florida is expected to receive “tens of thousands” of doses of the new vaccine as early as next week, DeSantis said, and the state would distribute those “in the way that makes the most sense.”
Further details about the distribution plan for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, as well as information about expanding eligibility beyond seniors and front-line health care workers, is expected next week.
Contact Sydney Boles at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @sydneyboles.