Jacksonville Receives Two New State COVID-19 Vaccination Centers

The Legends Center is open seven days a week and the Celebration Church is open Monday through Saturday. 200 doses of the Pfizer vaccine are available at each location.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Starting Thursday morning, Jacksonville has two more locations to get a COVID-19 vaccine. State officials announced Wednesday that the two locations, one at the Legends Center and the other at Celebration Church, are two of nine locations the state is opening in minority neighborhoods across the state.

Recordings were made on Monday on the Legends Center website, which also offers COVID testing. The Celebration Church on the south side will start recording Thursday morning.

BREAKING: Two new state vaccination sites are now opening in Jacksonville:
-Legends Center: Open 7 days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., no appointments required, 200 doses of Pfizer per day

-Celebration Church- Open Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., no appointments required, 200 cans of Pfizer @ FCN2go per day

– Kailey Tracy (@KaileyTracy) March 24, 2021

“The Legends Center has long been one of the top performing test sites in Jacksonville, and we saw an opportunity there to work with the City of Jacksonville[…] and some other partners there to continue the good work that has been done, “said Kevin Guthrie, assistant director of the Florida emergency management department.

The Legends Center is located at 5130 Soutel Drive and the Celebration Church is located at 9555 RG Skinner Parkway.

Guthrie said the two sites are using unused cans from the consumables from the Regency and Gateway sites.

“These new sites are opening because we have the extra doses that we could do more with in Jacksonville,” he said. “That’s what allows us to get to the Legend Center. That’s what allows us to get to Celebration Church. So we’re trying again to use absolutely every dose Jacksonville allotted in the Jacksonville market and is allocated, “Guthrie said.

The five vaccination sites in Jacksonville, excluding Legends and Celebration, have not yet reached their combined capacity of 6,500 doses per day. As of Tuesday, approximately 49% of the cans at the locations combined had not been used.

Regency used 1,386 of the 2,000 doses he was given per day, about 69%. Gateway used 1,378 of the 3,000 allocated per day, about 46%.

When asked if one of the reasons for opening the two new locations is because Governor Ron DeSantis hasn’t given everyone a chance and they have to do something with the cans, Guthrie said, “I don’t think you can […] I would not […] make this link. ”

However, he admitted that the sites have not reached their capacity, creating additional doses that will allow the state to open these new sites.

“To date, Jacksonville has shot 28,870 shots in the arms at the Jacksonville Hub in the Gateway Mall,” Guthrie said. “A few more figures: At all the intercoms in the past three weeks they made 9,555 for a rough sum of around 38 [thousand], 39,000 recordings that were made. ”

“I think this is great evidence that the community is coming out and wanting to get the shot. We obviously haven’t hit our cap and again I think this is another conversation to talk about is capacity “said Guthrie. “We say the sites have a capacity of 3,000, 3,500 a day, and that’s a planning assumption. It is not a success or failure whether we actually hit 3,500 or 3,000 a day. It is exactly what our planning capacity is. “

“Each of these recordings will be used in this market at some point,” Guthrie said.

According to Guthrie, each site has its capacity for that day stored in an on-site freezer. Based on how many people are in line and how many appointments have been made, they take out a certain number of cans to thaw, then give the approximate number in syringes. Thawing takes six hours.

“We’re very, very conservative. When it comes down to it, we only thaw the cans we know we’ll hug,” Guthrie said.

If at the end of the day doses that are not in a syringe are missed, they can be put back in the refrigerator and will keep for about four days. Guthrie said they would be used right away the next business day. If at the end of the day there were still doses in a syringe, which he thinks is rare, they vaccinate everyone in line, whether they meet the criteria or not.

Guthrie said they never throw away cans.

“We have no rubbish,” he said.

Duval’s Department of Health houses cans and brings the assigned amount to the sites each day, Guthrie explained.

“We only take what we need for the day,” he said.

When asked when anyone can get the vaccine, Guthrie referred First Coast News to the governor’s office. The governor said earlier this week that anyone could get a shot before May 1st.

“Sure we do [Florida Division of Emergency Management] Get the assignments in the Emergency Management Department in cohort with cohort with the Florida Department of Health and we know how the assignments come in, “Guthrie said.” We know what’s going on off-site. We can see what the throw is and we give these recommendations to the governor’s office and then the governor makes these decisions based on data-driven analysis. “

FCN reached out to the governor’s office and asked when everyone will be able to get the shot and when the criteria change and haven’t heard from it.

Guthrie said he wasn’t at all discouraged that any part of the offering wasn’t being used.

“I’m actually encouraged by the numbers we’re seeing. We’re not going to get 100%,” Guthrie explained. “I think you are living in a utopian world if you think we will get 100% vaccination.”

“I would personally like to see as many people as possible get the shot because I believe that being shot in the arm is a life that may be saved. What will the number be? I don’t think either of us I know what that number will be, “Guthrie said. “However, I am extremely encouraged by the 65-plus section, which is over 75%. [vaccinated]. I would like to see we hit over 70% nationwide. ”

The Legends Center is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Celebration Church is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

No appointments are required at either location to receive the admission. For the first three weeks, 200 doses of only the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine per day will be given at each site. That number will increase to 400 doses after these three weeks, half for second doses.

For a list of where to buy the COVID-19 vaccine in Northeast Florida, click here.

The Legend Center cans come from inventory at Gateway, a federal government sponsored location. Therefore, federal guidelines apply: Age 50 and over, residents and employees of long-term care facilities, frontline health workers, people at high risk, and school workers K-12 of all ages.

Celebration’s dosages come from the Regency Mall, a government-run, government-sponsored website. The criteria therefore follow the criteria of the state.

The only difference from the federal criteria is that K-12 school staff must be at least 50 years old to get the shot there.

According to an ordinance from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the following groups are the only ones eligible for a vaccine in the state:

  • People over 50 years of age
  • Residents and employees of the long-term care facility
  • Health workers with direct patient contact
  • K-12 school employees – 50 years of age or older
  • Sworn Prosecution – 50 years of age or older
  • Firefighters – 50 years of age or older
  • People at high susceptibility to COVID-19

Individuals under the age of 65 who are susceptible to COVID-19 must have a doctor fill out a form to be eligible.

Individuals who would like to pre-register for vaccine appointments and be notified when appointments are available in their area can visit myvaccine.fl.gov.

As part of the nationwide registration system, each county has a designated telephone number that individuals can call and pre-register. You will find the full list of numbers by state here.

RELATED: County by County: Where to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine in North Florida

RELATED: 5 vaccination sites in Jacksonville Didn’t Use 32% of Previously Allotted Doses

RELATED: Changes to the Gateway Inoculation Site and its satellite locations on Wednesday

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