We know you’re wondering: What can you do if you’ve been vaccinated?
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People 50 and older are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.
At a news conference in Tallahassee last week, Gov. Ron DeSantis lowered vaccine eligibility to those 50 or older starting today. (Scroll down to read the executive order.)
The order comes a week after DeSantis said Floridians age 60 and older were eligible to receive the vaccine at any of the more than 1,000 vaccination sites across the state.
Here are things to know about getting an appointment and what vaccines are available. Please note, this file may be updated with more information.
Who is eligible to get the vaccine?
People ages 50 and older can now get the vaccine. That’s in addition to:
• people determined to be extremely vulnerable by a physician
• health care workers with direct patient contact (complete list below)
• long-term care facility residents and staff
Many have already gotten vaccinated because they are in law enforcement, education, fire protection and emergency services, including:
• kindergarten through 12th grade school employees age 50 and older
• law enforcement officers age 50 and older
• firefighters age 50 and older
Health care personnel with direct patient contact includes but are not limited to:
• emergency medical service personnel
• nurses and nursing assistants
• home health providers
• dentists, dental hygienists and dental assistants
• students and trainees
• contractual staff
• dietary and food services staff
• environmental services staff
• administrative staff
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COVID vaccination sites brace for surge in demand for appointments as age drops to 50
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How much is the vaccine?
No charge. Vaccines are free at all locations.
This illustrated guide breaks it down: What to expect before and after the COVID-19 vaccine
Where are vaccines available?
According to the Florida Department of Health, there are more than 1,000 vaccine distribution sites for eligible residents, including Publix pharmacy locations, CVS pharmacy locations, Walgreens, Winn-Dixie locations, Walmart and Sam’s Club.
Hospitals and county health departments also are administering shots to health care workers with direct patient contact, health care workers in their communities and others eligible for the vaccine.
• To reach underserved communities, DeSantis said the state partnered with 200 churches in Florida to administer shots. Below is a photo the governor tweeted showing the vaccination sites at places of worship.
State vaccination sites such as the Tampa Greyhound Track, 755 E. Waters Ave.; Miami Dade Community College, 11380 NW 27th Ave.; Valencia College west campus, 1800 S. Kirkman Road, Orlando; and Gateway Mall, 5200 Norwood Ave., Jacksonville, can administer up to 3,000 vaccines a day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Walk-ups accepted, according to floridadisaster.org/vaccine.
One site in Orange County has vaccines for those 40 and up
Orlando Mayor Jerry Demings beginning today, Florida residents ages 40 and older can get the coronavirus vaccine at the Orange County Convention Center, 9800 International Drive, Orlando. To sign up, visit ocfl.net/vaccine.
How do I sign up?
Supplies are limited, and appointments may be required. Designated websites for each location include:
• Publix, https://www.publix.com/covid-vaccine/florida
• Sam’s Club, http://www.samsclub.com/covid
• Walmart, http://www.walmart.com/COVIDvaccine
• Winn-Dixie, https://www.winndixie.com/pharmacy/covid-vaccine
• CVS, http://www.cvs.com/immunizations/COVID-19-vaccine
• Walgreens, http://www.walgreens.com/findcare/vaccination/covid-19
Tech tool shows COVID-19 vaccine near me: Digital tools to help you find vaccination locations
What vaccines are available?
According to FDOH, these COVID-19 vaccines have received emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration:
• Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use in persons 16 years of age and older.
• Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for use in persons 18 years of age and older.
• Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine for use in persons 18 years and older.
Which vaccine should I get?
Experts say don’t wait, get whichever vaccine is available. However, this USA TODAY story does outline the vaccine differences.
What if you had your choice of COVID-19 vaccine? Differences are small, but they do exist
What’s the difference between the vaccines?
Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses and are somewhat more effective, according to a story by USA TODAY. Johnson & Johnson is a single shot vaccine and is somewhat less likely to cause side effects, the story states.
Are there side effects?
All three COVID-19 vaccines being used in the U.S. can cause short-term side effects in some people such as pain in the injection site, fatigue, headache, muscle and joint pain, the USA TODAY story says.
How many Florida residents have been vaccinated so far?
According to the CDC’s COVID-19 vaccine tracker online, as of March 21, the site lists
8,186,888 total doses administered in Florida. That breaks down to 7,475,170 doses for vaccinated people in Florida, 4,911,786 total people vaccinated with 2,198,538 receiving the first dose, and 2,713,248 completing the series.
Does getting a vaccine mean I can stop wearing a face mask?
No. Everyone, including those who have received both doses of vaccine, should continue to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations on wearing face coverings, social distancing and practicing good hand hygiene.
Do I still wear a mask? Can I hug grandma? Here’s what you can do if you’re fully vaccinated
Where to get more information
You can get FDOH updates via social media:
• @HealthyFla on Twitter
To educate yourself about the vaccines, visit floridadisaster.org/vaccine.
To pre-register for vaccines at state-supported sites in your area, visit myvaccine.fl.gov.
For more information, a COVID-19 call center is available 24/7 by phone at 866-779-6121, via email at email@example.com or online at https://floridahealthcovid19.gov.
Contributing: Jeff Schweers, USA TODAY Network-Florida; Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY
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