Day 1 to day 4: Tweaks to city-run vaccination site to make it run smoother

COVID-19 vaccination process moves along

DUVAL COUNTY, Fla. — Some might call it love at first sight.

“We’ve been married fifty [years]” Kathy Hollar said. “We met when we were sixteen.”

Kathy and Jack Hollar do almost everything together, that includes getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

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“I tried to get him to stay home today [Thursday] so he wouldn’t have to come out in the cold,” Kathy joked. Her husband got his vaccine Monday.

The Jacksonville city-run sites in Mandarin and West Jacksonville are averaging about 1,000 doses each day between the two senior center sites. It’s first come, first served for Duval County residents 65 and older, medical workers and first responders. It’s filtered by birthday, hence why the couple had to split up.

Jack was the second person in line for the vaccination on Monday when the site first opened to the public. He came back Thursday with his wife. They were 35th in line. Despite having to make the trip twice, Jack said first come, first served is better than appointment-based sites, like the Prime Osborn Center.

“I think this is the only way to go,” Jack said. “You can’t seem to get an appointment,” Kathy said. “We’ve tried and tried. This means waiting, but it’s a sure thing.”

Action News Jax reporter Meghan Moriarty noticed some changes at the sites over the last four days. Cones have been added alongside the roadway, blocking off one church parking lot and grassy areas where people were previously parking. The cones were also used to make a pathway for people who parked far away.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office also has officers stationed outside the site daily, now, to manage traffic and direct people.

“Nobody is cutting lines,” Kathy said. Nobody is nasty. Everybody is helpful.”

Jack had some questions about the second dose. He’s scheduled to go back on Feb. 1, but said he hasn’t gotten many details about how it will work.

The city said you’ll either opt in for text or email updates when you go to get the vaccine, which Jack did. He hasn’t got an email just yet.

Moriarty reached out to the City of Jacksonville and received this response: “It may only be those people returning for that second booster at the facility when he goes back.” The email goes on to explain that the city “accounted for the number of people we could give both injections.”

So, Jack and others should be good-to-go for the second injection.