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Rural counties taking a different approach when scheduling COVID-19 vaccinations

Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 10:53 PM EST
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LIBERTY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Starting last week, Liberty and Calhoun County began distributing the Moderna vaccine to seniors age 65 and older.

While most counties across Florida are urging people to book appointments online, more rural counties like Liberty and Calhoun are scheduling strictly over the phone.

“You will speak to a live person. We feel that that’s very important with the population we’re serving,” Public Information Officer for Liberty and Calhoun County Health Department Kelly King said.

In Liberty County, they only allow 12 people per appointment time-slot, which means no long lines.

Tuesday, Liberty County held a drive through vaccine distribution, where they vaccinated more than 200 people.

Health Department Official Kelly King says in her 22 years working, she’s never experienced something like this.

“These have been the most rewarding weeks that I’ve ever experienced to be able to just provide that ray of hope for those people,” King said.

And she isn’t the only one who finds these distributions rewarding.

“Even though it’s very daunting the task that we’ve been given, it’s so rewarding. It’s extremely rewarding to see how appreciative and grateful that the people are that are coming through,” Health Officer for Liberty and Calhoun County Rachel Bryant said.

And you don’t have to be a resident of the county to make an appointment.

“Someone’s coming tomorrow that just called just earlier today to make sure that we would have vaccines. They’re driving 5 hours to get here,” Bryant continued.

Although there are currently no more available appointments, both Liberty and Calhoun County officials say you can still call into either health department, and be put on a waiting list.

To be put on the waiting list for Calhoun County, you can call (850) 674-5645, and in Liberty County, you can call (850) 643-2415.

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