Gulf lags behind Franklin in vaccination rate

The overwhelming majority of residents over the age of 65 in
Franklin and Gulf counties have been vaccinated against the COVID-19 coronavirus,
with numbers picking up in those as young as age 50.

But Gulf has a ways to go if they want to catch up to their neighbor to the east.

According to a release issued Friday by the Florida
Department of Health covering both counties, Franklin County had completed
vaccinations for 2,160 of its population of 2,966 residents age 65 or older, or
about 73 percent.

In Gulf, the percentage of those age 65 and older who have
been vaccinated was considerably lower, at 63 percent, or 2,483 out of a
population of 3,927.

The gulf was even wider in the 60 to 64 age group, where
Franklin County has immunized 54 percent, or 511 out of 945 people, while Gulf
County has only stuck needles in the arms of 35 percent of this age group, or
426 out of 1,215 residents.

The gap is narrower in those between the ages of 55 and 59,
where 29 percent of those in Franklin have gotten jabs, 264 out of 904, while
in Gulf 20 percent of those in this age group, 240 out of 1,185, have been

For those between the age of 50 and 54, in Franklin 24
percent, or 183 out of 763, have been vaccinated, while in Gulf it’s 18
percent, or 193 out of 1,046.

“All individuals age 18 and older are eligible to receive
the vaccine,” read a news release from the health department. “We will share
more vaccine data in the future for populations below 50 once the state has it

The health department also reported that both counties are
posting positivity rates of people coming down with COVID-19 at a rate below
the state average of 7 percent.

Between March 26 and April 8, the positivity rate in Franklin
County was 2 percent, with just five positive cases out of 218 total tests. In Gulf
County the rate was 6 percent, with 17 cases out of 341 total tests.

To boost the numbers of inoculations of the Moderna vaccine, 

Ascension/Sacred Heart is holding vaccinations in Port St.
Joe, on Friday, April 16, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. EST at the Centennial Building,
300 Allen Memorial Way,  for those age 18
and older. They’ll get their second dose on May 14.

On Saturday, April 17, Ascension is needling people from 11
a.m. to 2 p.m. EST at the Washington High Gym, 414 Kenny St, with a second dose
on May 15.

Both clinics will allow scheduling by going to,
or people can come in as a walk-in. While insurance is not required, people are
asked to bring their Florida driver’s license or identification card, and
insurance card if they have one.

Between April 19 and 30, a mobile vaccine unit will be at
the Wewahitchka Medical Center. Patients will be seen five days a week by
appointment only, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 255 W. River Rd.  Call (850) 639-5828 to make an appointment.

The health department locations in Franklin and Gulf
continue to offer vaccinations on weekdays, by appointment, by call in Gulf 227-1276
or in Franklin 653-2111.

Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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