Alachua County residents can now get COVID-19 vaccinations without appointments at walk-up vaccination clinics. Paul Myers, administrator at the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County, said this progression will help expand access to vaccinations across the county.
“I think that this is just another way to improve access,” Myers said. “We understand that many people don’t want to go through the registration process, don’t want to make an appointment, so we’re trying to make it as easy as possible for people to get vaccinated, because vaccination is the best tool we have to stop COVID-19.”
Myers said a walk-up clinic was held at Santa Fe College Thursday, and UF Health also began offering vaccinations to those without appointments at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium last week. He said the department is already beginning to see the impact.
“So far it has worked to increase participation in the vaccination process,” he said.
The county also hosted a walk-up clinic at the Martin Luther King Jr. Multipurpose Center Friday morning, and another at the Fellowship Church of High Springs on Saturday.
Patriece Blackburn got her first dose at the Martin Luther King Jr. Multipurpose Center Friday morning.
“It was very quick, simple and easy…I did not have an appointment, so I just walked in and they said alright, fill out this very easy paperwork, and probably the whole thing was done in less than 30 minutes.” Blackburn said this walk-up clinic provided an easy and convenient way to access a vaccine.
“I’ve been on a list but I haven’t been able to get called, so this walk-up clinic just made it quick and easy,” she said.
As 82% of the county’s most vulnerable, 65-plus population has been vaccinated, Myers said the county will continue to host these clinics, working to expand access and vaccinate younger groups which account for a large portion of transmission.
“What we’re trying to do now, is getting to the population, the 20- and really 30-year-olds, to a lesser extent the 40-year-olds, who are actually spreading COVID-19,” he said.
He said he encourages people to check the department’s website for information about the latest vaccination events and locations.