In Marion County, a vaccine milestone in site
Jim Quinn of Dunnellon gets the Moderna COVID-19 vaccination from Kelly Conklin, a registered nurse, who is the epidemiology and immunization supervisor, on the first day of COVID-19 vaccinations at the Florida Department of Health Marion County in Ocala, Fla. on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021. Quinn and his wife, Diana, were the first people to sign up for the vaccination at the Department of Health in Marion County. The Florida Department of Health Marion County has taken 800 appointments for people to receive the COVID-19 vaccination in the next 28 days. This week the Department of Health will be administering vaccines on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. When people return for their second vaccination in 28 days, they will go to Paddock Mall. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette] 2021.
“I was told by this weekend we’ll be done with the 50,000. We have a pretty aggressive schedule going on this week at the AdventHealth department site at the mall,” ” said Mark Lander, Florida Department of Health in Marion County administrator during Tuesday’s Marion County Commission meeting
Lander said that they’re administering 1,000 shots per day through Wednesday at the Paddock Mall site before giving out 1,500 second doses each on Thursday and Friday. Between the shots at the mall site and community outreach events, the DOH hit its goal of going through the list by early March. The local department of health opened up registration in December to those 65 and older who wanted to receive the vaccine. The response was so great, that it suspended registration in early January. Since then, the state moved to its own registration system at myvaccine.fl.gov
Those 65 and older have received 80% of all vaccines in Marion County, and 41% of all Marion County senior citizens have been vaccinated. A total of 53,164 people have been vaccinated in Marion County, with 31,389 receiving their second shot.Lander did not have an update on when the county would begin to receive the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which was authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for emergency use on Saturday. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis stated that the state could receive 175,000 doses this week.
“I have not gotten word how that’s going to be distributed locally to counties,” Lander said. “We just know the state will be getting a portion of that.
“But I would imagine we should see some of that flowing into some of the counties in the near future, which is great. We now have three potential vaccines, with Astra-Zeneca hopefully coming shortly behind, so that would give us four vaccine opportunities within the country and the state of Florida.”
Cases continue to decrease in Marion County after spiking in January. Lander said that there were 579 positive cases last week and the positivity rate is down to 7.31%, making it seven weeks in a row where the positivity rate has fallen. Marion County has had 27,663 cases and 803 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.