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COVID-19 testing times set to change, booster shots now available

By Florida Department of Health in Marion County

October 28, 2021

 

OCALA, Fla.—Effective Nov. 1, the hours available for COVID-19 testing at the First Baptist Church of Ocala will change.

CovidTestFL.Org, a COVID-19 mobile clinical testing service, will offer free drive-through testing at the church, 2801 SE Maricamp Road, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Call CovidTestFL.Org at 866-826-8430 for additional details.

CovidTestFL.Org offers a diagnostic PCR COVID-19 test that provides results within three days via a text message or an email containing a link to results on a web portal. Expedited test results are available for an additional fee.

People who seek to be tested must enter the church parking lot entrance on SE 30th Ave. To be tested, individuals should bring a valid photo ID; minors under age 18 will only be tested if they are accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

People should be prepared to stay in their vehicles while awaiting testing. Only people who are being tested should be in the vehicle, with the exception of parents, guardians, or caregivers. No pets are permitted in the vehicle during tests.

Additionally, testing can be done at private labs, physicians’ offices, pharmacies and walk-in clinics throughout Marion County.

Vaccine boosters available at health department

The Department of Health in Marion County is providing updated information on COVID-19 “booster” shots, which were authorized by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Oct. 21.

The department seeks to help clarify recent developments regarding the eligibility and timing of those booster shots. The department also recommends that those seeking or considering a booster vaccine consult their health care provider before obtaining one to determine the best course of action for them.

For those considering a booster:

Q: Which vaccines are available for a booster shot?

A: Per a CDC announcement on Oct. 21, all three vaccines – Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson – are eligible to be given as a booster shot.

Q: Who is now eligible for a booster shot?

A: The CDC notes that people 65 and older or those 18 or older who live in long-term care settings, have underlying medical conditions, or face an increased risk to exposure or transmission because of occupational or institutional setting are eligible for a booster vaccine.

Q: When can someone get a booster?

A: Those eligible may obtain a booster as of right now, provided they meet conditions discussed below.

Q: How long do people have to wait after getting their initial vaccine?

A: Those who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine are eligible for a booster shot after waiting at least six months from the completion of their initial series. Those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are eligible after waiting at least two months after they received their initial vaccination.

Q: What does “mix and match” mean?

A: Mix and match refers to the patient’s ability to select the vaccine of their choice for a booster, when available. Per the CDC’s recommendations, people may opt for the same brand that they received the first time or choose a different one.

Q: What if someone originally got the Pfizer vaccine?

A: According to the CDC, people who originally got the two-dose Pfizer vaccine series at least six months ago may receive a booster if they are 65 or older, or are 18 or older and live in a long-term care setting, have underlying medical conditions, or face a higher risk of infection because of their work or institutional setting.

Q: What if someone originally got the Moderna vaccine?

A: The CDC says that those who initially received the two-dose Moderna vaccine series at least six months ago may receive a booster if they are 65 or older, or are 18 or older and live in a long-term care setting, have underlying medical conditions, or face a higher risk of infection because of their work or institutional setting.

The Moderna booster is a half-dose of the original vaccine for healthy people. Individuals who are immunocompromised may receive a full-dose third vaccination after they wait at least one month from completing the original two-dose series.

Q: What if someone originally got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine?

A: Those who originally got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine may receive a booster if they are 18 or older and were vaccinated at least two months ago, according to the CDC.

Q: What happens if someone decides to “mix and match”?

A: The Department of Health in Marion County refers people to the CDC to learn more about vaccine boosters. Additional information about mixing and matching can be found at cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/p1021-covid-booster.html.

Q: Where can people get vaccinated?

A: The Department of Health in Marion County provides COVID-19 vaccinations by appointment Monday through Friday from 8:30 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 4:30 p.m. at its main office, 1801 SE 32nd Ave., Ocala. To make a vaccination appointment go to tinyurl.com/MakeMarionFLVaxAppt. Walk-ins are also available. Call 352-644-2590 for information.

Additionally, vaccines are available in Marion County at many pharmacies, doctor’s offices, clinics and health centers. Visit floridahealthcovid19.gov/vaccines/vaccine-locator to learn more about vaccine locations.

Find out more

Visit marion.floridahealth.gov,marionflcovid.org and twitter.com/flhealthmarionfor the latest information on COVID-19 and vaccinations. Visit floridahealthcovid19.govand use the Vaccine Locator and Testing Sites tools to find vaccination and testing sites near you.