Santa Rosa County to Start COVID-19 Vaccines for Seniors in Milton

Posted on January 4, 2021 by Staff reports

Santa Rosa County Emergency Management Director Brad Baker (front right) pictured during today’s news conference
Santa Rosa County COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution starts this week with mass vaccination clinics in Milton for residents 65 years of age, according to Ascension Sacred Heart’s Chief Operation Officer Justin Labrato.
The vaccines will be issued by appointment only with no walk ins available. Call 850-983-INFO (4636) to schedule an appointment. Online registration is not yet available, according to Ascension Sacred Heart Spokesman Mike Burke. “We will have information forthcoming. We will be setting up an online scheduling option,” Burke said.
Santa Rosa County has received 2,800 Moderna vaccines of which there are plans to distribute 1,000 this week, according to Emergency Management officials who said appointments will be set up in five-minute intervals, yielding about 150 vaccines per hour.
All the information regarding dates, times and locations will be provided to seniors during the registration process.
Because it is a federal program, the vaccinations are not limited to Santa Rosa County residents, stated Emergency Management Director Brad Baker.
Participants are asked not to arrive too early and those receiving the vaccines will need to wait around for a 15 minutes following the injection to ensure no adverse reactions.
Two doses of the vaccine are necessary to be effective – with the second dose needing to be administered within 28 days of the first one. Baker said persons who may have initially received the Pfizer vaccine will also need to get the second dose from a Pfizer vaccine, not Moderna.
No location has yet been arranged for a South Santa Rosa vaccine distribution. However, the county is planning a second mass vaccination clinic (details to be announced) in Milton.
The vaccine plan is pursuant to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ executive order, which prioritized healthcare and first responders followed by the elderly.
COVID Vaccine Information
The COVID-19 vaccine is available for anyone age 65 years and older, or healthcare workers who provide direct patient care and who are not associated with a hospital system. How to Register:

  1. For vaccine scheduling through the Florida Department of Health in Milton, Tues. through Fri. (Jan. 5-8) of this week, call 850-983-INFO (4636) from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Fill out a consent form online and print/bring with you or forms will be provided at the location.
  2. High call volumes are anticipated. Santa Rosa County has brought in extra staff to assist residents with calls.
  3. All the information you need regarding dates, times and locations will be provided to you during the registration process.
  4. More registration dates will be made available as more vaccines are received.


  • Individuals under age 65 will not be vaccinated (editor’s note: unless a healthcare worker not associated with a hospital system)
  • Each individual receiving a vaccination is required to sign up for an appointment. Individuals without an appointment will not be vaccinated.
  • Healthcare workers not associated with a hospital system must bring a valid form of identification as indicated above as well as a healthcare badge to prove eligibility.
  • If you have questions about whether or not you should receive the vaccine, contact your health care provider.
  • Each individual must bring a valid form of identification showing date of birth (driver’s license, state-issued ID or passport).
  • These are not drive-through sites. All individuals must be monitored for 15 minutes after receiving the vaccination.
  • Santa Rosa County is receiving the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine which is administered in two doses. You must receive your second vaccination 28 days after your appointment. The Florida Shot System will notify individuals when it is time for them to register for their second vaccination.
  • Testing is still being offered from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Mon., Wed., and Fri. at Milton Community Center, 5629 Byrom St. in Milton and on Tues. and Thurs. at Tiger Point Community Center, 1370 Tiger Park Lane in Gulf Breeze. Pre-registration is no longer required.

If you’re feeling nervous about getting an injection, try these tips to help you stay relaxed:

  • Take deep breaths.
  • Avoid looking at the syringe.
  • Relax your muscles — this can make the shot less painful.

You may experience some temporary side effects including pain, redness or swelling at the injection site; fever, chills, tiredness; or headache or body pain. Take these steps to help you feel better:

  • Place a cool, wet washcloth the injection site.
  • If your arm is sore, try gently moving it around — that can help with pain and swelling.
  • Contact your health care provider for follow-up care if needed.

More information on the COVID-19 vaccine is available at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
State Vaccine Administration Information:
Per Executive Order 20-315, during this first phase of COVID-19 vaccine administration, providers shall only vaccinate the following:

  • Long-term care facility residents and staff;
  • Persons 65 years of age and older; and
  • Health care personnel with direct patient contact.
  • Hospitals may vaccinate persons who they deem to be extremely vulnerable.