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DOH Leon Provides Week 14 Update on COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts

By Pamela Saulsby

March 25, 2021

DOH Leon Provides Week 14 Update on COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | March 26, 2021

DOH Leon Provides Week 14 Updates on COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts

The Department of Health in Leon County (DOH Leon) in partnership with the Florida Department of Health, the Florida Division of Emergency Management, and multiple public and private sector partners, continues its mission to get all Leon County residents vaccinated quickly and fairly. All of this as we continue our collective efforts related to limiting the spread of the virus and protecting public health.

This week, actions to continue a proactive approach to vaccination efforts in Leon County include the following:

New development:  Governor DeSantis announced new eligibility guidelines for COVID-19 vaccinations in Florida.  Beginning Monday, March 29, all individuals age 40 and older will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Beginning the following Monday, April 5, all individuals age 18 and older will be eligible to receive the vaccine. Watch the announcement by using this link.

DOH Leon Vaccination Clinic Highlights:

We have so far sponsored 25 vaccination clinics.

We have successfully administered more than 20,074 vaccines through our health department to date.

Staff continues expanding operations at some of our vaccine clinics to include qualified individuals who do not have scheduled appointments.

A DOH-Leon vaccine team led by Health Officer Claudia Blackburn visited the Leon County Detention Center to administer doses to eligible inmates.

The department is responding to an amended executive order 21-67 signed by Governor DeSantis. The following groups are now qualified for vaccines (see attachment for details):

  • Persons 50 years of age and older
  • Persons determined to be extremely vulnerable by a physician
  • Health care workers with direct patient contact
  • Long-term care facility residents and staff

 

DOH Leon vaccination clinics currently administer Moderna and Pfizer vaccines to those who are eligible.  A valid government-issued photo ID is required. The schedule is subject to change based on vaccine supply and inclement weather. Vaccination clinics are held at:

DOH Leon Administration Building

2965 Municipal Way

Tallahassee, FL  32304

Since the COVID-19 vaccine rollout began in late December, Leon County has administered a total of 110,846 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. More than 69,000 people have been vaccinated. 41,397 individuals in the county have completed their vaccine series, and are now considered fully protected against COVID-19.

DOH Leon continues its partnership with the state’s Sharecare system that allows residents to preregister for appointments at https://myvaccine.fl.gov/#/ The website allows individuals who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine to be proactively contacted when vaccine appointments are available. Those without access to a computer can call the toll-free line for Leon County at 866-200-3856 or for TTY (Text Telephone Relay) at 833-476-1455. For additional questions about the appointment system, residents can call 833-540-2054. Phone lines are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The faith-based vaccine initiative is gaining momentum in Leon County.  Among churches hosting clinics this week, multiple partners are merging for an event in Tallahassee’s Griffin Heights neighborhood at New Mt. Zion AME Church. (1401 Old Bainbridge Road). The partnership includes Bond Community Health Center, Neighborhood Medical Center, New Mt. Zion AME Church, Leon County Government, and DOH Leon. The church will host a walk-up and drive-through vaccine clinic on Saturday, March 27, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. See attached flyer. Vaccine teams will administer Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, and Pfizer vaccines. No appointments are needed. See details in the attached flyer.

The Florida A&M University Al Lawson Center COVID-19 vaccination site extends its hours of operations. Beginning Tuesday, March 30,  the 1800 Wahnish Way location will open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week. Staff at the walk-up site is now allowed to vaccinate all residents 50 years of age and over now that the Governor has expanded access to the vaccine. The state-run site dispenses the Moderna vaccine.

Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare concludes its series “State of COVID-19 in Leon County Community Update” today at noon on Friday March 26.  This virtual chat collectively brings together key community leaders for an open conversation about COVID-19 that includes questions submitted by viewers.  Health Officer Claudia Blackburn is among the featured panelists. Friday’s show will feature a segment on “life after the pandemic,” and include a special guest, Dr. Carina Blackmore, State Epidemiologist at the Florida Department of Health.

Click here to register.  The panel will convene for future webinars as updates are warranted. If you’ve missed any of the past episodes you can find recordings of them by using this link.

A communitywide COVID-19 public education initiative is providing timely updates from trusted voices for the Big Bend area.  Safe and Healthy Big Bend combines the resources of local governments, local hospitals and health care providers, the Leon public school system, the faith community, business, and media partners to keep the public informed and provide up-to-date information on COVID-19.  Click here to visit the Safe and Healthy Big Bend website.  The multimedia platform includes PSAs, the latest information about vaccines, and direct messaging to the community from trusted voices including DOH Leon Health Officer Claudia Blackburn.

Community partners offer free rides to seniors with appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.  2-1-1  in partnership with The United Way, 2-1-1 Big Bend and Lyft is offering transportation to COVID-19 vaccine sites through the Lyft Ride United Program. The project provides safe and reliable door to door rides to COVID-19 vaccine appointments at walk-up COVID-19 vaccination sites. Rides can be set up by calling (850) 617-6325 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.  Additionally, Tallahassee’s Elder Care Services is helping residents who need a ride to the vaccine clinics at FAMU.  The organization has teamed up with Florida A & M University to offer transportation to seniors who are 60 years of age and older who have confirmed appointments at the Al Lawson, Jr. Multipurpose Center. They can call (850) 921-5554 to schedule transportation. Individuals do not have to be officially enrolled with elder care to take advantage of this opportunity.

The state continues to put focus and energy on vaccinating homebound seniors by taking the shots to them. They or a caregiver can send an email to homeboundvaccine@em.myflorida.com to get added to the homebound missions list, managed by the Florida Division of Emergency Management. A survey will be sent to them via email for them to complete.  The answers will determine if they are considered eligible for homebound vaccines. Seniors can also call 866-779-6121 for assistance.

Leon County trendlines continue downward in key COVID-19 metrics. Cases have decreased over the past two weeks. Our 7-day rolling average for new cases has averaged to 33 per day for the past two weeks (3/10-3/23). The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients has also fallen in the Leon County area. The test positivity rate in Leon County remains low, suggesting that testing capacity is meeting current demand.  Our positivity rate has been at  2.47% for the past two weeks (3/10-3/23).  Since last week's report, four new deaths have been confirmed, bringing the total accumulated death count to 301 Leon County residents. Find more data on COVID-19 cases, testing, and fatalities specific to Leon County here.  Additionally, there has been one new case of the UK COVID-19 variant identified in Leon County since the last update.  We stand at six cases of the B117 variant. Data suggest this variant may be more contagious than the original virus, but does not suggest that it causes more severe disease. Current COVID-19 vaccines are expected to be effective against this and other mutations.

The Florida Department of Health issues a COVID-19 vaccine report that is updated daily.  This report includes information on the COVID-19 vaccine by county, race, sex, and age. The site also includes all available resources that we have on the state vaccination plan. Find the COVID-19 vaccine report here: https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/

For any additional questions about the vaccine at this time, the State COVID-19 Call Center can be reached by calling 1-866-779-6121 or emailing COVID-19@flhealth.gov  and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

About the Florida Department of Health

The Florida Department of Health, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

 

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Submitted by:

Pamela Saulsby | Public Information Officer