First Okaloosa offering of COVID-19 vaccines to the public proves popular
NICEVILLE — It took a little more than two hours for all 168 COVID-19 vaccine doses available for a planned drive-thru clinic at Northwest Florida State College to be claimed .
The Okaloosa County Health Department sent out a news release at 2:53 p.m. Wednesday stating that it would distribute vaccines to persons 65 or older, born in January 1956 or before, between 8:30 and 11:45 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 6.
The news release said appointments were required and asked that no one without an appointment show up at the NWF State campus in Niceville expecting to receive a vaccine.
Another press release went out at 5:11 p.m. Wednesday It stated the vaccination clinic "has now reached appointment capacity."
"No additional appointment slots are available," the release said.
The vaccine was to be distributed from a cache of 2,000 Moderna vaccine doses the Health Department has recently received. The rest will be used at three closed vaccination clinics set up to "vaccinate the vaccinators," according to Health Department spokesperson Sydney Harper.
"These events will vaccinate the EMS, Fire Department, and DOH-Okaloosa staff members who will be providing the vaccination to members of the public," Harper said in an email.
The Department of Health scheduled the Jan. 6 vaccination clinic in conjunction with Okaloosa County Emergency Services and local fire departments. The second news release said additional vaccination events will be scheduled "when details are finalized."
"Additional open vaccination clinics which do not require appointments may be available in the future based on vaccine availability," the news release said.
"We are currently working to schedule additional dates, times and locations for vaccination clinics," Harper said. "The first event is a soft opening. The number of vaccinations offered at each vaccination drive-thru clinic may differ in the future, based on lessons learned at the first clinic."