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Alachua County residents frustrated with Health Department’s handling of vaccine distribution

Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 6:28 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 12, 2021 at 6:49 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -Although Alachua County is the highest in the state in terms of per capita covid vaccine distribution, residents here say the Alachua County Health Department is not doing a good job of their distribution.

Joseph Keane is a 75 year old Alachua County resident who feels the health department has gone MIA when it comes to distributing the COVID vaccine to residents 65 and older. He isn’t the only one who feels this way either. We have received multiple calls and emails from other residents expressing frustration with how the health department has handled the distribution.

Keane says he registered for the vaccine on the first day, but hasn’t heard anything from the health department since then.

“These guys are supposed to be professionals and they’re not even doing an amateur job,” Keane says. “There are four counties around us that are already given on their third and fourth week of giving out the shots. And we haven’t even started as far as the general population.”

The health department posted an update to Facebook over the weekend stating that out of the 40,000 residents over 65 in the county, 19,000 have registered for the vaccine. They say these people will start to get notified in the coming weeks, starting with the oldest residents first.

Keane, as well as many other elderly residents are not on Facebook, so they were unaware of this information. He feels this process should have started weeks ago.

“Somebody’s got to hold their feet to the fire and get this thing rolling or we are going to be having this conversation in May,” says Keane.

We reached out to the Health Department regarding the matter, but did not receive a response.

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