COCOA, Fla. — Monday marked the first day for all Florida adults being eligible to get COVID-19 vaccinations, and it's been a rush to be ready for small, independent pharmacies.
What You Need To Know
- COVID-19 vaccine eligibility was expanded to all adult Floridians Monday
- Local pharmacies say they are seeing a rush of people since the expansion
- West Cocoa Pharmacy owner Dawn Butterfield said more than 100 people have been vaccinated at her business since Monday
Beth Sherwood was a nurse for more than three decades.
Her best friend Felly Anderson got her Johnson & Johnson shot at West Cocoa Pharmacy last week, and is now bringing Sherwood and their entire friend group to get vaccinated.
"I said to them, 'You need to get the vaccine, because we are all together, all the time,'" Anderson said.
The group was having a hard time getting an online appointment with bigger pharmacies, and decided to try West Cocoa Pharmacy — and it worked.
Pharmacy owner Dawn Butterfield said the spots were available because her business was ready for the influx.
"It came quick," she said. "We've already gone through more than a hundred in four and a half days."
Butterfield said they've notified all the people on their waiting list, and now that all Florida adults are eligible for the shot, the waiting list is growing.
They expect to fine tune the process, and give 50 to 60 vaccines a day.
"I'm going to go into people's homes that we learned about from Meals on Wheels, that called us, and we slotted them in," Butterfield said.
She said none of the vaccines are going to waste if appointments are canceled.
Once a vial is opened, it must be used in a matter of hours.
"I'm calling people, 'Can you come in?'" she said. "Or, 'I'll come to your house.'"
It's peace of mind for Anderson's group of friends, who are planning an overseas trip in the fall.
"This one is a great place to get it," Anderson said of the local pharmacy.