SJC, Nassau lead NE Florida in COVID-19 vaccination rates

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — St. Johns and Nassau counties lead Northeast Florida in vaccination rates.

Eligibility has been expanded to age 16 and up for a week across the state.

Action News Jax compared data from the Department of Health with the latest census information.

The top three county vaccination rates include:

  • St. Johns County: 42%
  • Nassau County: 34%
  • Duval County: 30%

Percentage of populations vaccinated include at least one shot of the vaccine.

Nassau County Emergency Management reported more than 80% of its senior population 65 and up is fully vaccinated.

“Which is pretty good compared to some of the other counties,” Greg Foster, the director of Nassau County Emergency Management, said. “There was such a demand when the vaccine came out. We did not even come close with supply to what demand was.”

Foster added that they struggled getting shots in the arms of residents under 65, but there has been an uptick in the 16 and up category.

The county is also battling vaccine hesitancy.

Foster said his department is using social media and handouts to tackle rumors about the vaccine.

He said resident’s main concerns include the vaccine will give you COVID-19 and it changes your DNA, which are both false claims.

“Getting the vaccine is a personal decision — but I want them to have the right information. So I spend a lot of time explaining how the vaccines were created and what they do,” Foster said.

Now that supply has caught up with demand, Nassau County is closing its large vaccination site to first shots.

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After Friday it will only administer first doses.

Foster said the vaccine will still be available through the health department, but it will offer it through the regular clinic.

He had one reminder for Nassau residents. “This pandemic is still here, it’s still going to be here for a little while. Just keep up with the social distancing, staying away from large crowds, and hygiene.”