COVID-19 has hit the Big Bend hard. But hope has arrived in the form of vaccines. Clinical trials have shown they are safe and highly effective.
Three ways to get the vaccine:
- Leon County Vaccine and Testing Site Finder
- Get vaccinated through your primary care provider
- Get vaccinated through select stores or a community organization
2. Get vaccinated through your primary care provider
Doctors are authorized to provide the vaccines to those eligible under guidelines issued by the Florida Department of Health. If you are eligible, call your doctor to set up an appointment to be vaccinated.
3. Get vaccinated through select stores or a community organization
Get vaccinated through one of the many pharmacy chains or other businesses providing vaccines under a federal/state partnership.
- Know Before You Go, Florida COVID-19 Vaccine eligibility and finder map.
- Gadsden County pre-registration is encouraged and open to persons ages 12 and up. Call (850) 329-0685 to register for your vaccine today!
- The Pfizer vaccine is authorized for persons age 12 and up. All individuals under the age of 18 receiving the vaccine must be accompanied by a guardian and complete the COVID-19 vaccine screening and consent form. To download a copy of the form, click here
- Florida A&M University is operating a free, walk-up vaccination center from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Saturday at the Al Lawson Center, 1800 Wahnish Way, Tallahassee, Fla.
- Publix grocery stores are now accepting walk-ins to receive COVID-19 vaccinations. Learn more.
- Walmart and Sam’s Club are now taking reservations for COVID-19 vaccinations.
- Walgreens and CVS are also providing vaccines, in accordance with procedures for those stores.
Currently, anyone over the age of 18 is eligible for the Moderna vaccine and anyone over the age of 12 with parent permission is eligible for the Pfizer vaccine.
All vaccines approved for use in the United States have been shown in clinical trials to be effective and safe to receive.
None of the vaccines use the live virus that causes COVID-19. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use a different technology that teaches your body’s natural defenses how to protect against COVID-19. Learn more about how this process works: CDC - Understanding How COVID-19 Vaccines Work
Any medication, including vaccinations, can have side effects. Side effects from COVID-19 vaccines are generally mild, such as a low-grade fever, a sore arm where the shot was administered, chills, tiredness, or mild flu-like symptoms. More serious side effects are rare.
To ensure that we have accurate, up-to-date information about side effects, the CDC has enhanced its systems that gather information about side effects from doctors, hospitals, long-term care facilities, and health insurers. The federal government also has launched a phone app called V-Safe, which collects information directly from people who have been vaccinated.
According to the National Medical Association, a 125-year-old organization of more than 30,000 Black physicians nationwide, clinical trial data shows that the vaccine is effective and safe across all ethnic groups. The NMA’s COVID-19 Task Force on Vaccines and Therapeutics, chaired by NMA President Dr. Leon McDougle, found that 10% of those enrolled in clinical trials for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were Black. The effectiveness and safety of the vaccine was consistent across all races, ethnicities, genders, and ages of participants in those clinical trials, the task force found.
The League of Latin American Citizens, the nation’s largest and oldest Hispanic organization, has launched a nationwide initiative to urge people of Hispanic or Latinx backgrounds to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as they are eligible.
According to the COVID Racial Tracker website, created by The Atlantic magazine, Black people have died from COVID-19 at about 1.5 times the rate of white people. Hispanic/Latinx people have died at about 1.3 times the rate of whites.†
Data on clinical trials shows that all vaccines approved in the U.S. today offer strong protection against getting the virus and even stronger protection against developing serious symptoms of COVID-19.
By getting vaccinated, you can help protect not only yourself, but others in your family who may be especially vulnerable to the virus.
According to the CDC, it’s still important to get vaccinated even if you have recovered from a COVID-19 infection. However, if you were treated for COVID-19 symptoms with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your doctor if you aren’t sure what treatments you received, or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
Yes. In Tallahassee, the StarMetro city bus system is providing free rides to vaccination appointments. Show proof of your vaccination appointment to the bus driver and you will receive documentation from the driver so you can ride free on the return trip. Eligible Dial-a-Ride paratransit riders also can ride fare-free to a vaccination appointment. Call (850) 891-5199 or schedule a ride online. Also, Volunteer Leon is matching volunteer drivers with people needing a ride to a vaccination site. To volunteer to help with driving or in other functions with COVID-19, call Volunteer Leon Volunteer Services Manager Royle King at (850) 606-1970. In Gadsden County, see the following information to get help with transportation to a vaccine site: gadsdencovid19.com/