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COVID-19 vaccine registration open for ages 65+ in Alachua, Marion, and Columbia County

Published: Dec. 28, 2020 at 6:41 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Counties across North Central Florida are now opening registration for COVID-19 vaccines to the elderly community -- including Alachua, Marion, and Columbia County.

If you’re 65 years old or older and you’re looking to register to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, the best way to do that is to register online.

Alachua County residents can register HERE.

Marion County residents can register HERE.

Columbia County residents can register HERE.

You are encouraged to register online, but if you are unable, call:

Alachua County Health Department at: 352-334-8810

Marion County Health Department at: 352-644-2590

Columbia County Health Department at: 386-406-7006

You might think that calling the Health Department may speed that process, but Health Department leaders say it is actually delaying the process. Some viewers say they were unable to get through all together.

Alachua County Health Department Administrator Paul Myers says it’s because the overwhelming amount of phone calls they’re receiving. Myers advises anyone who is applying for the COVID vaccine, to register online and refrain from calling the department if possible to prevent the influx of calls.

“They will get a call back ... and that call back might be days or more than a week ... It depends on what risk category they’re in and when we have the vaccine available and a time and location set for them to receive it ... but I want everyone to rest assured that we are not sitting on any vaccine here … as soon as we get it we are putting it out there as soon as possible,” Myers said.

So far in Florida, health care workers have received the vaccine, including those at Oak Hammock Retirement Home in Gainesville, where over 130 vaccines were administered.

“So far we’ve had a very smooth process,” said Oak Hammock spokesperson Nickie Doria. “Everyone that we worked with has been very helpful. We had so much support and guidance from our local and state and federal agencies to help us navigate the situation and we feel very hopeful and very grateful to have access to something like this.”

The vaccines are given in two phases. For the Moderna vaccine, the time period between the two phases is 28 days. For the Pfizer vaccine, the time in between is 21 days.

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