The Florida Department of Health (FDOH) in Alachua County has opened COVID-19 vaccine appointments to residents age 50 and older, following the latest guidelines from Gov. Ron DeSantis.
“Area residents who opt to be vaccinated are taking an important step in protecting their own health and the health of others,” said Paul Myers, the county health administrator. “Eligible Florida residents are encouraged to make an appointment by registering at Alachua.FloridaHealth.gov, or by calling 352-334-8810.”
In addition to the 50-plus population, state guidelines clear high-risk individuals ages 18 years and up—if a medical provider has confirmed they have a condition that places them at increased risk for a severe case of COVID-19—for vaccination.
The expanding eligibility comes as coronavirus case numbers recede and after the Food and Drug Administration approved a third vaccine. Earlier this month Myers told Mainstreet Daily News the county was reaching the vaccination saturation point with the 65-plus population.
On Wednesday, appointments will be available at the UF Cultural Center Parking Garage (Garage 11), off Hull Road across the street from the Southwest Recreation Center, the health department said in a press release. On Friday, appointments will be available at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium Champion’s Club.
“This is a great start toward meeting the increasing demand for the vaccine,” Dr. Mike Lauzardo, director of UF Health Screen, Test & Protect, said in a statement. “We’re excited to have the ability to support the community in this way and help state health officials in Alachua County expand access to even more people. Vaccination is an important step toward ending this pandemic.”
The health department encouraged those who have registered at Alachua.FloridaHealth.gov to update their information or opt-out of their registration if they have already been vaccinated or no longer desire to be vaccinated. The department said updating information will expedite appointments and avoid unnecessary appointment-related correspondence.