NewsLocal News


Leon County to participate in pilot program to get COVID-19 vaccines to vulnerable patients, health care workers

Moderna vaccinations could begin next week
COVID-19 vaccine
Posted at 3:00 PM, Dec 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-16 07:46:48-05

LEON COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) — Leon County is expected to receive 2,500 doses of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine next week as part of a vaccination effort aimed at getting the vaccines to the vulnerable residents and the health care workers who care for them.

According to the Leon County Department of Health, the county will serve as one of several Florida counties taking part next week in a COVID-19 vaccination effort that will "prioritize Moderna immunizations for residents of skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and those who provide them care."

The department expects to receive 2,500 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine next week.

“The arrival of the first doses of COVID-19 vaccines in Leon County gives us an extraordinary opportunity to protect the most vulnerable residents and health care workers who have been hit especially hard by the pandemic as well as those who provide them care,” said Claudia Blackburn, Health Officer for the Florida Department of Health in Leon County (DOH-Leon). “We are dedicated to this community, we have a plan in place, and we are ready to begin as soon as the vaccine arrives,” Blackburn said.

The logistics surrounding the operation are still being finalized, according to Leon-DOH, though paramedic teams are set to administer the vaccines. As details are finalized, DOH-Leon said they will release more information on the vaccination plan.

According to data released Tuesday by the Food and Drug Administration, the vaccine made by Moderna is highly protective for adults and prevents severe cases of COVID19.

Per the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, long-term care facility residents and health care personnel are included in Phase 1 of the Florida vaccination distribution plan.

"The COVID-19 vaccine is a monumental step toward getting this disease under control in Florida, but the department is still encouraging residents and visitors to take common sense precautions to protect themselves and others from the spread of the virus," DOH-Leon wrote in the release sent Tuesday afternoon.

These include:

  • frequent hand washing
  • wearing face masks
  • maintaining six feet of social distancing
  • and staying home if you are feeling sick

COVID-19 vaccines from other manufacturers will be available for use at later dates as supplies reach the state. For information about DOH-Leon, go to or follow on Twitter at @healthyleonfl.