Walton County will be receiving its first round of COVID-19 vaccines within the next few days. As directed by the State of Florida, these first deliveries will go directly to Ascension Sacred Heart Emerald Coast hospital and will be shared with Healthmark hospital for high risk frontline health care workers. The vaccines are from Moderna and have been given Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA . The Moderna vaccine does not require ultra-cold storage so is better suited for Walton County distribution.
We are very happy to be receiving this vaccine and to work with our community partners for the distribution of the vaccine” said Holly Holt, Administrator and Health Officer for the Florida Department of Health in Walton County. “COVID-19 vaccines are a critical resource to preventing the further spread of the virus”.
The State of Florida has been proactively preparing for vaccine distribution since July. The most at-risk populations have been prioritized to receive the initial round of vaccines. This includes residents and staff of long-term care facilities and high-risk frontline health care workers.
The next vaccines to come to Walton County will go to CVS and Walgreens. The State of Florida has contracted with both CVS and Walgreens to administer the vaccinations to Long-Term Care Facility staff and residents. The state has prioritized the safety of these populations since the onset of the pandemic. These populations are the most at-risk to contract the virus and experience complications from the virus.
Following the initial distributions to high-risk frontline health care workers and long-term care facility staff and residents, the state will work to provide vaccine to additional priority groups, including first responders.
The state is committed to providing the vaccine to each priority group and to the general public as quickly as possible, however, much of these plans are dependent on vaccine supply. Updates on timeline for the general public will be provided as those plans become available. The Florida Department of Health in Walton County (DOH-Walton) continues to work on our plans for points of distribution for the COVID-19 vaccine along with our partners. DOH-Walton will pull from our experiences with H1N1, Hep A and following Hurricane Michael to provide vaccine to our community. We are actively assisting medical offices in the process of signing-up to become COVID-19 vaccine providers.
The Walton County Board of County Commissioners, Department of Health Walton County and Walton County Emergency Management continue to refine their plans for the mass distribution of the COVID-19 Vaccine and will be moving quickly once widespread vaccines are available.
For updates about the vaccine and distribution from Governor Ron DeSantis, text FLCOVID19 to 888777 or visit https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/covid-19-vaccines-in-florida/.