With the state having expanded COVID-19 vaccination eligibility, Brevard County’s two health care systems—Health First and Parrish Healthcare—are collaborating to encourage area residents to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and to ensure residents know when, where, and how, its hospitals are receiving and administering the vaccines.
Health First hospitals and Parrish Healthcare’s Parrish Medical Center are each receiving vaccine allocations from the State of Florida; hospitals are sent either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna (mRNA-1273) COVID-19 vaccines, depending on availability, but don’t choose which vaccine they’ll receive. State allocations of the J&J/Janssen vaccine have not been announced at this time.
Per the Governor’s Executive Order, effective Monday, April 5, all Floridians will be eligible to receive any COVID-19 vaccine as prescribed by the Food and Drug Administration. This means that the Pfizer vaccine will be available to anyone age 16+. The Moderna vaccine will be available to persons age 18+.
Parrish Healthcare and Health First jointly are saying that the vaccines are safe, effective, and are the single greatest weapon to fight the spread and effects of COVID-19.
“To benefit Americans, some 20 years ago, the federal government embarked on a scientific process to more quickly bring important medications to the public. The vaccines against COVID-19 are the result from that process, and the vaccines’ safety and efficacy are based on evidence, which the nation’s Centers for Disease Control have evaluated and finds highly successful in combating COVID-19,” said Frank Dienst, MD, Parrish Healthcare Intensive Care Medical Director.
“We are excited to expand our vaccination program beginning next week and to do our part to help vaccinate as many residents as want to be vaccinated,” added Dienst.
The two health care systems have online capability for Brevard residents to make vaccination appointments. Furthermore, hospital registration systems are continually updated to show available appointment times to minimize waiting and the number of people in the vaccination center at any one time, which makes it more efficient getting vaccine into people’s arms for the benefits they’ll experience.
“Opening up vaccinations to all adults in the state of Florida is critical in the fight against COVID-19,” said Dr. Jeffrey Stalnaker, Chief Clinical Officer at Health First. “We look forward to expanding the availability next week, as we will be offering a limited number of Pfizer vaccines on a first-come, first-served basis to those registered. This pertains to all Floridians eligible to receive any COVID-19 vaccine as prescribed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Also, the FDA has authorized an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer vaccine to be administered to 16-and 17-year olds who have a parent or legal guardian present. Appropriate documentation will be required.”
Appointments can be made online at:
• Parrish Healthcare: vaccine.parrishmed.com
• Health First: HF.org/staywell (Register now for Vaccine Interest List and we will reach out to community members directly next week to schedule an appointment. Direct scheduling will open Tuesday.)
More information on Brevard hospital systems’ COVID-19 vaccination programs can be found by visiting either Health First’s web site at hf.org, or Parrish Healthcare’s web site at parrishhealthcare.com.
Additional information about vaccination sites throughout the state is also available through the Florida Department of Health, visit floridahealthcovid19.gov.