Escambia residents age 65 and older can now sign up for COVID-19 vaccine. Here's how.
Senior citizens in Escambia County ages 65 and up can now sign up to receive the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the Department of Health, the first step for many people toward relief after a long nine months of coronavirus uncertainty.
The Department of Health in Escambia County announced the news late Tuesday night in a press release on their website. The agency included a link to a sign-up form for healthcare workers and people 65 years of age or older to sign up for an appointment to receive the vaccine, and has asked that people not call the DOH or walk in the clinic to request appointments.
See the sign-up form:Dept. of Health Sign-up form for COVID vaccine
“The arrival of the first doses of COVID-19 vaccines in Escambia County gives us an extraordinary opportunity to protect older adults and health care workers who are at an especially high-risk for COVID-19 exposure,” said Marie Mott, health officer and administrator for FDOH-Escambia, in the press release.
The department said they are one of "several Florida counties" taking part in COVID-19 vaccination efforts that will prioritize Moderna immunizations for medical providers at high-risk for COVID-19 exposure, as well as people in the general population who are 65 years of age or older.
The Escambia County agency said they have received 2,500 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, and 840 doses have either already been provided to community partners for administration or administered at FDOH-Escambia Clinic.
The Department of Health in Santa Rosa County said in an email Wednesday they had received 200 doses of the Moderna vaccine but were expecting to receive more. They said they are working on plans to distribute the vaccine to people 65 and older and will announce plans for how to do so soon.
At the press conference at Ascension Sacred Heart in Pensacola, DeSantis announced he would be signing an executive order that prioritized people aged 65 and up for receiving the vaccine among the general population, ahead of people who are younger but are classified as essential workers.
Pensacola press conference:DeSantis: Florida residents 65+ will be first in general population for COVID-19 vaccine
In a press release issued on Dec. 29, Gov. Ron DeSantis said that all 67 Florida county health departments will have vaccine doses by the end of the week. The governor's office said that Florida will receive 127,100 doses of the Moderna vaccine this week, 93,900 of which will be distributed to county health departments and the remaining 33,200 of which will be sent to hospitals.
The vaccine sign-up news is welcome news to many senior citizens in Escambia County, said Josh Newby, the marketing coordinator for the Council on Aging of West Florida.
Newby said Council staff have been reaching out to its 65 and up clients to help them sign up for the vaccine, especially those who don't know how to use computers or get on the internet.
“Of course, we’re not sure how long it’s going to take to actually get the vaccine, because I’m sure their system is being inundated right now,” Newby told the News Journal on Wednesday morning. “But we’re really thrilled. I think this gives a lot of our clients sort of their first sense of hope and security that this thing might be close to an end.”
The state of Florida says it has vaccinated 146,000 individuals, including health care workers, nursing home residents and staff, and people 65 and older, since the vaccination process began a little more than two weeks ago.
Annie Blanks can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 850-435-8632.