The Jefferson County Health Department will be administering COVID-19 vaccines to eligible recipients beginning Monday and individuals age 80 and order are included in the group who can register for the shots.

Vaccines will be administered by appointment only and no walk-ins will be accepted at this time due to limited supply of vaccine. The state began taking appointments Friday both online at and by telephone by calling 211 where someone will assist with scheduling an appointment and even transportation if needed.

The vaccination registration site — both online and by phone — was experiencing high volumes of traffic on Friday so residents were being urged to be patient. Local health department phone numbers were also being overwhelmed even though appointments cannot be scheduled there and must go through the 211 phone number.

Jefferson County, which had announced earlier in the week that it would be receiving the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, will be allotted 100 vaccines per week for the next three weeks with that supply expected to slightly increase on week four. There is no cost to the individual, but insurance may be charged an administration fee and individuals should bring a photo ID and an insurance card if they have one.

The Moderna vaccine will require two doses administered 28 days apart so a return appointment will be made at the time you receive your first dose. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after the second vaccination.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the vaccines under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), meaning the vaccines must be proven safe and effective in the same way that all medications and devices must be. The vaccines have been found in trials to be 94% to 95% effective in preventing COVID-19 infections in participants.

Side effects are temporary and are generally mild, including fatigue, headache and sometimes fever. People who have been vaccinated may still be able to infect others, so even those who are vaccinated should continue wearing a face mask and quarantine if they are a close contact of a positive case.

Meanwhile, the best ways to protect yourself and others are to:

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds

• Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick

• Stay home when you’re sick

• Cover your cough or sneeze

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

For additional information, call the Jefferson County Health Department at 812-273-1942