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Info On COVID-19 Vaccinations In Florida's Big Bend Region

Registered nurse Cynthia Banada holds a vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at Miami Jewish Health, a senior healthcare facility, Monday, Dec. 28, 2020, in Miami.
Registered nurse Cynthia Banada holds a vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at Miami Jewish Health, a senior healthcare facility, Monday, Dec. 28, 2020, in Miami.

County health departments are largely taking on administering the vaccine to community members older than 65, while hospitals have been prioritizing medical staff.

County health departments are largely taking on administering the vaccine to residents older than 65, while hospitals in the region have been prioritizing their own medical staff.

Here's where seniors can get vaccinated in the Big Bend region:

Leon County

Currently, the Leon County Health Department has suspended the vaccine request process but encourages people to check its website regularly as officials refine the scheduling program. When it reopens, people 65 and older may get vaccinated at a department-run clinic.

Before getting their first dose, seniors must sign and complete a vaccine screening and consent form. Forms for both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are available on the health department’s COVID-19 vaccination page.

Bethel AME Church was chosen by state officials to help underserved communities get vaccinated. It will give out 500 COVID-19 vaccine doses. However, it is now booked and no longer accepting appointments.

Bay County

County health officials say they'll notify the public when they're ready to reopen scheduling for the coronavirus vaccine. The county has about 31,000 residents over 65 and has so far received 3,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine from the state. All appointments through next week have been booked.

The health department is using Eventbrite, a ticket-selling platform, to schedule appointments. Residents may receive text message alerts from the department notifying them when scheduling reopens by texting "bayhealth" to 888777.

Vaccinations are taking place at the main clinic, located at 597 W. 11th St. in Panama City.

Due to high call volume, the department requests that residents don't call to schedule an appointment if they're able to access the online scheduling platform.

Those who can't schedule online may call the department at 850-872-4455.

County health officials say they aren't keeping a waiting list at this time.

Jackson County

A drive-up vaccination event for residents 65 and older will take place at the Jackson County Fairgrounds, located at 3631 US Highway 90 in Marianna, Florida, on Wednesday, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Health care workers will administer the free vaccines on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The Florida Department of Health in Jackson County and Jackson Hospital are organizing the event.

Residents may also set an appointment by calling the health department at (850) 526-2412.

Gadsden County

Seniors can make an appointment to get vaccinated through Gadsden County’s health department by calling (850) 329-0685. The department is open Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Nurses will administer 200 shots per week to residents older than 65.

Wakulla County

Residents 65 and older may request an appointment online or schedule a time to receive the first dose of the Moderna vaccine by calling 850-926-0400 and selecting option 2. The health department will schedule appointments between 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Calhoun-Liberty Counties

The Florida Department of Health in Calhoun and Liberty Counties are scheduling seniors to receive their first dose of the Moderna vaccine by phone only.

To schedule an appointment in Calhoun County, call 850-674-5645. Liberty County residents may call 850-643-2415.

Nursing staff at both departments are vaccinating seniors at their local clinics Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. in Calhoun County and Monday - Friday, 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. in Liberty County.

Residents also have the option to get vaccinated in their cars instead of going inside the clinic.

Madison-Jefferson Counties

The Florida Department of Health in Madison and Jefferson Counties are scheduling times for seniors to receive their vaccine on Wednesdays and Thursdays between 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. On Tuesdays, the health department in Jefferson County county is scheduling appointments between 8 - 11:45 a.m.

Residents who'd like an appointment must print and complete a screening and consent form for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and send it back to the health department. They may scan and email the form to or they may hand-deliver or mail the form to their local health department.

A member of the office's nursing staff will then call applicants to schedule an appointment, according to the department's website.

Franklin-Gulf Counties

The Florida Department of Health in Gulf and Franklin are scheduling seniors to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Gulf County residents older than 65 may submit a vaccination request online and a local provider will call them to schedule an appointment as doses become available.

Franklin County residents may also request an appointment via the department’s website.

Local health care workers are calling seniors who register.

To get text message alerts about the vaccine, Gulf and Franklin County residents may text “FranklinCV19” to 888777 or “GULFCOVID” to 888777.

Washington-Holmes Counties

In Washington County, a drive-thru vaccination clinic will take place on Wednesday at the First Baptist Church of Chipley, 1300 South Blvd. in Chipley. The hours are 9 a.m. - noon or until all vaccines have been administered. There is no appointment necessary. Residents over 65 may receive their first dose of the Moderna shot at the clinic on a first-come, first-serve basis. All vaccinations are free.

In Holmes County, coronavirus vaccinations are available to older residents on Tuesday, 9 a.m. - noon at the health department, located at 1177 E. Highway 90 in Bonifay. Free doses of the vaccine will be given on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Neither department is scheduling residents for appointments at this time or keeping a waitlist of people who want to get vaccinated.

Copyright 2021 WFSU.

Valerie Crowder is a freelance reporter based in Panama City, Florida. Before moving to Florida, she covered politics and education for Public Radio East in New Bern, North Carolina. While at PRE, she was also a fill-in host during All Things Considered. She got her start in public radio at WAER-FM in Syracuse, New York, where she was a part-time reporter, assistant producer and host. She has a B.A. in newspaper online journalism and political science from Syracuse University. When she’s not reporting the news, she enjoys reading classic fiction and thrillers, hiking with members of the Florida Trail Association and doing yoga.