INVESTIGATION: Northeast Florida counties receiving less than ten percent of total vaccinations in the state

Health officials in one local county unsure how many vaccines they’ll get from the state next week

Vaccine county by county

St. John's County, Fla. — Watch this investigation tonight on CBS47/FOX30 Action News Jax at 5

Action News Jax was at the Solomon Calhoun center in St. Johns County Friday where health care workers gave the county’s remaining 400 doses of the vaccine.

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Health officials told Action News Jax the doses were given by appointment only. County leaders add that there are roughly 55,000 seniors in the county, and yesterday, it had over 250,000 hits online from people trying to register for their shots.

The county says to keep in mind that people were on multiple devices, and refreshing their webpage, which accounted for the high volume of hits. “I was on the computer and the phone and my cell phone and everything else,” husband and wife Larry Morabito and Linda Levy said. “We had four things working with us.”

The high-risk couple have been holding their breath ever since the pandemic hit. “My husband is a kidney transplant recipient,” Levy said, adding that she gave Larry her kidney. “We have a lot to protect,” Morabito added. The couple told Action News Jax that missing out on their shots was not an option.

Panneerselvam Thirugnanasambandam also got his shot Friday. “I never expected this, I thought it would take some time,” Thirugnanasambandam said. “I’m very lucky, very happy.” He says his son helped him register the night before.

But next week is filled with uncertainty, as St. Johns County leaders say they don’t even know how many vaccines they’ll get from the state. It puts us in a limbo,” Lauren Ferro with the county said. “Whatever the state decides to send us... we’re at the mercy of the state.”

Here are the number of vaccinations in nine Florida counties in Action News Jax’s viewing area as of Friday afternoon:

Baker: 494

Bradford: 313

Columbia: 1,505

Clay: 4,205

Duval: 20,409

Nassau: 1,470

Putnam: 866

St. Johns: 8,918

Union: 213

A total of 38,393 doses have been given so far in the aforementioned counties, according to the Florida Department of Health’s website. Action News Jax found that that amounts to just 8.5 percent of the total vaccines administered in all of Florida.

St. Johns County leaders told Action News Jax they’re still learning as they go through the vaccination process. They say for the next round of registrations, they’ll let the community know how many slots are available.