GHS, Buchholz to host first high school vaccine events

Doctor vaccinating young woman
Doctor vaccinating young woman

Alachua County residents age 16 and older can get a COVID-19 vaccine without an appointment starting Friday and at school starting April 19.

Paul Myers, administrator for Florida Department of Health (DOH) in Alachua County, said on Tuesday that the county has sustained vaccine supply and has saturated the needs of individuals wanting an appointment, so now it’s time to try walk-up clinics.

“We really need to pivot our strategies here to try and get this vaccine into as many arms as possible,” Myers told the Alachua Board of County Commission at its April 13 meeting.

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This Friday, April 16, from 9 a.m. to noon, the health department will hold a walk-up clinic at the Martin Luther King Jr. Multipurpose Center at 1028 NE 14th Street in Gainesville.

Proof of residency is required and for those under 18 years old, a parent/guardian must be present at the time of vaccination and sign COVID-19 vaccine consent form.

On Saturday, April 17 the same event will take place at Fellowship Church of High Springs, 16916 NW US HWY 441.

Buchholz and Gainesville High schools will become the first to host vaccine clinics next week.

“We have more than 5000 students who are 16 or older, and we’re thrilled at the opportunity to have them vaccinated in a way that’s safe and convenient for them and their families,” district superintendent Dr. Carlee Simon said in a statement. “We appreciate the Health Department for making this possible.”

Gainesville’s other five public high schools will host a vaccine event on the week of April 26. Second doses will come three weeks later.

Myers called it the “no appointment necessary strategy.”

“It’s the right time to do it,” he said. 

Myers reiterated that in order to be considered fully vaccinated a person must be two weeks past the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

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