JACKSONVILLE, Fla — There’s a push to get more people vaccinated in Jacksonville because of the steep rise in COVID-19 cases. On Thursday, a vaccine clinic is happening outside JEA's headquarters in honor of one of the leaders who helped Jacksonville during the pandemic and the roll-out of vaccinations.
UF Health Jacksonville's late CEO Dr. Leon Haley was the first person to get vaccinated in Jacksonville and performed vaccinations on his last day of work the day before he died.
He died on July 24 in a jet ski accident in South Florida.
Dr. Haley was on the board of JEA, and after his death, Agape Health CEO Mia Jones says they reached out about setting up a clinic. Her only answer was yes.
JEA’s Salute to a Healthcare Champion runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Jones says they have upwards of 750 vaccines available of both Moderna and Pfizer.
People 12 and older are able to come get vaccinated without an appointment. The push is also to get more school-aged kids vaccinated before the start of school next week in Duval County.
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“Just to be able to see a line of people," Jones hopes. "An endless line of people that recognize and can hear his voice at this point and say 'Now is the time.'”
She says his message would be to get vaccinated because it is "critically important."
"Recognizing after hearing stories that on Friday before he left work, he was going around the hospital and actually performing vaccinations on Friday," Jones said. "It speaks to his commitment. It speaks to his belief that it was the right thing to do."
"It really speaks to the fact that he was one who did his homework. When it was time for vaccines to come out, you didn’t see him hesitate. He was ready and was the first one to step up and say let me lead this effort not by speaking, not by directing, but by doing.”
Masks are required at the site. You will have to wait 15 minutes after your shot to be observed. More details can be found here.
JEA says people can park on Ashley Street in Downtown Jacksonville.