Online appointments in Manatee County for COVID-19 vaccinations begins at 2 p.m. today (Jan. 4).
The Florida Department of Health Manatee received another 1,400 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine Monday to deliver 1,200 of those to people 65 and older and the other 200 to first responders.
Those free doses will be distributed at Tom Bennett Park (400 Cypress Creek Blvd., Bradenton) on Wednesday and Thursday to those who have booked online appointments. Online appointments can be booked at www.MyManatee.org/vaccine beginning at 2 p.m. today. Those applying are asked to download and complete the Department of Health COVID-19 Vaccine Screening and Consent form, which must be brought to their appointment.
Those who need assistance in making an appointment can call Manatee County's 311 line.
Manatee County has given out 2,830 doses of the vaccine since Dec. 22. The number does not include vaccinations given at long term facilities or hospitals.
"The vaccination campaign in the last seven days has been no short of a small miracle," said Jacob Sauer, the county's public safety director. "All the county departments have come together as a team. This has been an all-hands-on-deck, great collaborative partnership."
Sauer said more doses will be available when the current supply has been given out.
Health care workers, either active or retired, who want to volunteer to administer vaccines are asked to call the health department at 748-0747.
Sauer stressed that those answering the 311 calls are not medical professionals and are there to just help those experiencing problems filling out the appointment forms.
"We are at the very beginning of this," Sauer said. "This will be an on-and-off process until the supply chain is full. We are working as fast as we can. We are not sitting on any doses. We ask the public to continue to have patience and to work with us."
Those who have a first vaccination will be contacted a week ahead of time to schedule a second vaccination.
Those who have relatives or friends 65 and over who might have trouble making an appointment online are asked to assist them. One person can make up to 10 appointments for those 65 and over once in the system.
County health officials also stress that the public remains vigilant in following preventative measures.