FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – Health care workers who were told they can’t get the COVID-19 vaccine because they aren’t affiliated with or employed by a hospital system were able to receive their first shots of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at a special event in Flagler County.
Ann Scott and Michelle Nye said they now have peace of mind after getting their first doses.
“So much better. I’m psyched! It’s a really great thing,” Scott said.
The at-home infusion nurses work for a private out-of-state company, but they treat patients in Central Florida. Because of that, Scott said they fell in a gray area.
The nurses said they were told they weren’t eligible to get the vaccine since they don’t work for a hospital.
“Our whole group of essential workers falling through the cracks,” Scott said.
But when they heard the Flagler County health department was holding a vaccination event specifically for health care providers who don’t directly work for a hospital, nursing home, or long-term care facility, they knew they had to be some of the first ones in line.
“We felt like this was our only option. We weren’t going to be able to get the vaccine if we didn’t come up and spend the night and guarantee we’d be one of the first people not knowing how many doses they had,” Nye said.
Hundreds are cars weaved in and out of the Flagler County Fairgrounds as the health department gave out 600 doses of the vaccine to these essential workers.
Bob Snyder, the health officer for FDOH-Flagler County, said it was important to provide vaccines to anyone who provides direct care to patients.
“We figured since healthcare workers truly are charged with taking care of the rest of us they definitely should be priority,” Snyder said. “We just felt it was really, really important and they are a priority group and we wanted to take care of them right away because they take care of us.”
Snyder said this was the county’s first mass vaccination event. He said they plan to schedule appointments next week to vaccinate more health care workers and people ages 65 and older.
Snyder said you can text “FlaglerCOVID” to 888777 to sign up for the county’s text message vaccination alert system, which will send out notices on how you can make an appointment.
Both Scott and Nye said they are grateful Flagler County gave them this opportunity to get vaccinated, but add it shouldn’t have come down to this.
“We’re very thankful to them because our county wasn’t doing it and a lot of the counties surrounding us weren’t doing it for health care providers like us, so we are just thankful that Flagler did,” Nye said.