58ºF

Here’s how to register for the COVID-19 vaccine in Florida

Residents should follow local health departments for details

In the final days of 2020, people in Florida 65 and older began receiving their first shots of the coronavirus vaccine, but when and where those doses became available have varied from county to county.

In early January, Florida was vaccinating only three priority groups: Health care workers, long-term care facility staff and residents and people 65 or older. The health care group includes EMTs and paramedics as well as Department of Health staff.

More than 1 million people in Florida have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as of Jan. 19, however, more than 44,000 are overdue for their second shot, according to the department of health database.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said all 67 Florida counties now have either Moderna or Pfizer vaccines. The vaccines will be handed over to local health departments and hospitals to distribute within their communities.

After three weeks of chaos during Florida’s rollout of vaccines to its most vulnerable residents Florida’s director of emergency management said on Jan. 14 a statewide appointment system for COVID vaccinations should be ready within weeks, however, an immediate timeline for that portal was not available.

Residents who are among the first priority groups should continue to check their local health department websites for information on appointments and where inoculations are occurring.

As the state receives more doses, more individuals will qualify among the first vaccine priority groups. Next up will be frontline workers, such as grocery store employees, teachers and police, according to DeSantis.

Select Publix supermarket locations in Florida are offering shots by appointment only. The program has since extended to 17 Florida counties. DeSantis said if the pilot program goes well he hopes to expand the vaccine to all Publix locations but did not provide a timeline on when that could happen.

All vaccine Florida sites are open to anyone in the priority groups regardless of state or county residency. Residents will need to return to receive their second shot 21 or 28 days after their first dose, depending on which vaccine they receive.

Floridians are asked to be patient as county health departments roll out vaccination plans for millions of residents who meet the age qualifications. The state is home to more than 4 million people 65 and older.

The vaccine is not expected to be available to the general population, including younger residents or non-frontline workers, until late spring.

The following counties in Central Florida have shared information to help people register for appointments and get more information on vaccine availability. This story will be updated as new appointments open and vaccine plans change.

Brevard County | Appointment only

Brevard County is inoculating frontline healthcare workers and residents and staff of long term care facilities and began vaccinating people 65 and older on Jan. 4.

People who qualify under these priority groups must make an appointment.

The county opened a phone line for appointments but a day later switched to an online registration system due to demand. Appointments previously made by phone will still be honored. Here is the link to register online.

The best way to be notified of new appointments is by texting Brevardeoc to 888777.

The vaccine site will be a drive-thru located at 2555 Judge Fran Jamieson Way in Viera.

Vaccinations will be provided between the hours of 8:30-11:30 a.m. and will continue for morning appointments through Friday and then Monday through Friday through the end of January. Afternoon appointments previously made by phone, will continue Monday through Friday from 1:15 to 4:15 p.m. until further notice.

A driver’s license or healthcare badge is required at the time of the appointment.

Brevard Public School officials said the district will work with staff over 65 and healthcare specialists who work with students to make sure they have the time needed to get vaccinated.

People are asked to review the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine fact sheet. Residents are also asked to bring the COVID-19 vaccine consent form and the facts and privacy form.

OMNI Healthcare

Melbourne-based Omni Healthcare began administering COVID-19 vaccines to health care providers with direct patient contact on Jan. 7 and to people 65 and older on Jan. 8.

Appointments are required.

For information on OMNI Healthcare COVID-19 vaccinations call (321) 802-5515.

Publix

Select Publix pharmacy locations in Brevard County will offer the vaccine by appointment only beginning Jan. 21. For a list of locations and appointment information click or tap here.

Flagler County | Appointment only

The Florida Department of Health in Flagler County received its first round COVID-19 vaccine Dec. 28 and is working with Flagler County Emergency Management to distribute shots to the community.

Flagler County residents 65 and older were able to make appointments to be vaccinated starting on Jan. 5. Appointments are required. The first round of appointments filled up within 10 minutes, according to the county DOH.

Vaccinations will take place at the Flagler County Fairgrounds at 150 Sawgrass Road in Bunnell. Drivers are asked to arrive no earlier than 15 minutes before their scheduled appointment.

The county has not yet released when it will reopen the appointment portal. When it does, appointments can be made by visiting www.flaglercounty.org, and clicking on the COVID-19 link or by calling 386-313-4200.

As of Jan. 13, Flagler County officials say the county is out of vaccines and is waiting to find out how many it might receive in its next weekly allotment.

Health officials in Flagler County said in a news release on Jan. 15 that they’re expecting another shipment of COVID-19 vaccines next week.

According to the release, the health department expects a shipment of Moderna shots next week. Once the vaccines are received, the health department will ask the county to notify residents about when they’re able to schedule vaccination appointments.

The health department has also ordered second doses of the vaccine for those who received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Flagler County Fairgrounds site prior to Jan. 12, according to the release. Those individuals will be called -- at the phone number they provided when they received the first dose -- about a week before their second dose is due and given an appointment date and time.

The best way to receive updates about COVID-19 vaccination appointment availability and testing, is to text “FlaglerCOVID” to 888-777.

Select Publix grocery stores in Flagler County are also offering the vaccine by appointment. Health officials in Flagler County said each Publix is expected to receive 300 doses of the vaccine per week. Click here for a list of locations and details on how to make an appointment.

Lake County | First come, first serve by DOH and county government site by appointment

There are currently two vaccine sites in Lake County, one run by the department of health and second by the county government.

The Florida Department of Health in Lake County is offering vaccines first come, first serve at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Mount Dora.

The county opened the drive-up vaccination site on Jan. 11, instructing people to line up at St. Patrick Catholic Church at 6803 Old Highway 441 South.

The site will be open Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the parking lot of the church. Cars will not be allowed to line up before 11 a.m., according to the health department.

Frontline workers with direct patient contact and people 65 and older are eligible to get vaccinated at this site. Face masks must be worn while waiting in vehicles.

Lake County closed its vaccine site at Clermont Arts and Recreation Center on Jan 13. The county plans to open a vaccine site in Groveland soon.

Health officials said as more vaccines come in an announcement will be made through the Lake County DOH website, lake.floridahealth.gov or on Twitter at @FLHealthLake.

People over 65 will need to present identification and frontline workers will need to present a copy of their medical license, employee badge or current paystub.

Residents can get vaccine updates via text by texting COVIDUPDATE to 888777.

The Lake County Government is offering vaccines by appointment for the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine at Lake-Sumter State College in Leesburg.

The scheduling application is available at https://scheduling.lakecountyfl.gov and begin accepting appointments on Jan. 12.

People can check for appointment availability by going to https://scheduling.lakecountyfl.gov.

Marion County | Appointment only

The Department of Health in Marion County is moving its COVID-19 vaccination operations to Paddock Mall, located at 3100 Southwest College Road in Ocala, on Jan. 19.

The site, a joint venture with AdventHealth Ocala, Marion County Emergency Management, and Paddock Mall, will be available for vaccinations by appointment only.

People with vaccination appointments will park at the Paddock Mall entrance nearest the Belk department store entrance on Southwest College Road.

The Paddock Mall vaccination site is currently scheduled to be open for appointments each Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. The site is projected to schedule several hundred vaccination appointments each day.

The department is continuing to schedule appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations for individuals who are age 65 and older. DOH-Marion received more than 50,000 registrations in its week of signups.

Go to this link https://tinyurl.com/y98cxp6s and complete the form. For those without access to a computer or smart phone, call the Marion County COVID-19 hotline at 352-644-2590 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and staff will submit the form online for you.

Once eligible residents submit their information on DOH-Marion’s website, they will be placed in line for a call-back by staff to set an appointment. Staff will call to schedule a vaccination appointment as vaccine becomes available.

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is a 2-shot series, with the second shot being provided 28 days after the first shot.

Some Publix pharmacies in Marion will begin offering the vaccine by appointment beginning Jan. 8. Find the full list of locations here.

Orange County | Appointment only

The Orange County Department of Health began administering shots to EMTS and paramedics at the Orange County Convention Center on Dec. 26.

People 65 and older with appointments can get their vaccines at the Orange County at the Convention Center between 8 a.m. and 9 pm.

This vaccine location is also open to people who live outside of Orange County.

Residents can register at OCFL.net/vaccines where they can also sign up for email updates to learn more about vaccine distribution. Here is the direct link to register.

The County will also provide updates via text if people text OCFLCOVID to 888777.

For those without smart phones or computers, community centers will also offer registration for the vaccine. The East Orange, Taft, Holden Heights and Center Hills community centers will have staff available to help people 65 and older register for vaccine appointments. Within the city of Orlando, the Beardall Senior Center on Delaney Avenue and L. Claudia Allen Senior Center on Mable Butler Avenue will be available to help residents register.

This link has step-by-step registration instructions.

Orlando VA

The Orlando VA is awaiting on more doses of the vaccine as of Jan. 18.

When it receives more shots the Orlando Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Lake Nona will host COVID-19 vaccination clinics for veterans 75 and older who receive care at the VA.

Vaccines will be available by appointment as well as open to walk-ins, as supply allows. To schedule a vaccination appointment veterans can call 407-631-0499 between Monday- Friday from 7:30 a.m.- 4 p.m. or leave a voicemail during non-business hours.

The clinic is held at 13800 Veterans Way, Orlando. The vaccine clinic will be on the fourth floor auditorium.

More events will be announced as supplies increase.

Osceola County | No longer accepting appointments

The Florida Department of Health in Osceola County received its first allocation of the Moderna vaccine on Dec. 28. The county announced Jan. 11 it will suspend vaccine registration through the Florida Health Department Osceola County’s website due to high local demand.

The DOH announced they are waiting on the next shipment of vaccines and launched a new appointment request process. Health officials sent an update about the new online vaccine request form for seniors who want their first or second dose.

CLICK HERE FOR FORM

The new vaccination request form can be accessed through the FDOH website. Vaccination appointments will be scheduled from Jan. 21 through Jan. 30 based on availability.

Submissions of the online form do not guarantee appointment confirmation.

Persons 65 years and older and health care personnel interested in receiving a COVID-19 vaccination may call 407-343-2000 to register once appointments become available. Once connected, callers should follow the prompts to receive more information on COVID-19 and remain on the line for the next available agent.

Due to call demand, the county also added an email option to register. Residents can email osceola.health@flhealth.gov and put “Vaccine” in the subject line. In the body of the email include your full name and phone number.

People who register will have the option to receive updates on vaccine availability via email. Health department staff will call to schedule appointments based on vaccine availability.

Osceola is coordinating with Osceola County Emergency Management and community partners to offer community-based and mass vaccination clinics as the COVID-19 vaccine becomes more readily available. Residents should continue to check osceola.floridahealth.gov for updates.

The department’s COVID-19 call center is available 24/7 at 1-866-779-6121 or via email at COVID-19@flhealth.gov.

Polk County | Appointment only

The Polk County Department of Health opened a phoneline Jan. 8 to begin making vaccine appointments for people 65 and older and later added an online portal for reservations starting Jan. 14.

Registration for a future appointment can be found at this link or make an appointment by calling 863-298-7500 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Employees staffing the phone line will help make a “limited number of vaccine appointments scheduled for next week.” After those appointments are filled, callers will be placed on a registration list for future openings, according to the Polk County DOH.

When callers receive their appointment time they will be given the location of the vaccine site. Polk County declined to release the location to the media, but later said vaccinations took place on Jan. 12 at Polk State College Lakeland Campus.

“We want to provide our residents with the safest and healthiest experience when coming for their COVID-19 vaccine appointment so we are sharing the location details of their appointments when the resident calls to register,” Polk County-Florida Department of Health public information officer Nicole Riley.

DOH officials said they hope to provide about 1,000 shots at two events during the second week of January.

Residents should follow updates at Polk.FloridaHealth.gov for vaccine availability or call 863-298-7500 to be placed on a waitlist for appointments.

Polk County announced an online portal for seniors to make reservations for the coronavirus vaccine.

Online reservations are available for anyone 65 and older, health care workers, and residents of long-term care facilities.

Registration for a future appointment can be found at this link.

Seminole County | Appointment only

The Seminole County Office of the Emergency Management in conjunction with the health department began administering shots to people 65 and older on Dec. 28 by appointment only at the Oviedo Mall. Health care workers can also go to this site for the vaccine.

People can make an appointment by going to prepareseminole.org or by calling the citizens’ hotline at 407-665-0000 or go directly to Eventbrite to book an appointment. According to its website, all appointments are currently booked through Jan. 23.

People can continue to check back on the Eventbrite for cancellations or for when more appointments become available but the best way to learn of openings is via text.

Residents can also text COVID19INFO to 888-777 to receive notifications when the vaccine becomes available to more groups and/or when more appointments are available.

This vaccine location is open to people who live outside of Seminole County and the criteria were recently expanded to include non-hospital health care workers.

Sumter County | Appointment only

The Florida Department of Health has partnered with a private medical group to open an outdoor drive-up vaccination site in The Villages. Site leaders said they are releasing the address to those with confirmed appointments.

Though the vaccination site has already booked available appointments, it will re-open registration at https://sumterfl.saferestart.net/. People can learn more about this vaccination opportunity here.

Volusia County | By appointment

Daytona Beach VA

The Daytona Beach VA is offering coronavirus vaccinations at its outpatient clinic for veterans in their care.

Veterans must be 75 years old or older and enrolled for veterans affairs health care benefits to be eligible to register for vaccination at 515 National Health Care Dr.

Those eligible to receive the vaccine can call (407) 631-0499 between 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday to schedule an appointment. Daytona Beach city leaders say patients can also call during non-business hours and leave a voicemail, assuring the call will be returned.

Deland

The Volusia County DOH and county government will hold a three-day vaccine event on Jan. 21, 22 and 25 at the Volusia County Fairground in DeLand.

The COVID-19 vaccination event is for individuals age 65 and older at 3150 E. New York Ave. in DeLand. Only the Moderna vaccine will be provided at this site.

The site will operate as a drive-up site and pre-registration is required. Vaccination appointments be available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Jan. 21 and 22, and Monday Jan. 25.

Appointments are required and must be made at www.countyofvolusia.eventbrite.com. Online registration will open at 9 a.m. Jan. 20. No less than 1,200 appointments will be available each day and are available in one hour timeslots.

Individuals who are not able to access the internet via a computer, tablet or cellphone may call 866-345-0345 for assistance scheduling an appointment until registrations have reached capacity for this event. Calls will be answered in the order they are received and may be busy due to high call volumes. With a high demand and limited supply of vaccine, appointments are expected to fill very quickly.

There is a maximum of two registrations per transaction online and three registrations per transaction via telephone.

Future vaccination dates in several locations across the county will be based on vaccine availability. Notifications will be provided to the news media. Information also will be posted online at Volusia.org/coronavirus.

Patients will be required to complete a screening and consent form before getting the vaccine, the forms can be found at this link.

Anyone who receives their first shot must get the second dose 28 days later.

Select Publix grocery stores in Volusia County are also offering the vaccine by appointment. Click here for a list of locations and how to make an appointment.

A Citizens Information Line is available at 866-345-0345 and individuals can also text “VolusiaReady” to 99411 to sign up for CodeRED to get updates on COVID-19 vaccinations in Volusia County.

Below is a map of all current vaccine sites around Central Florida.

To keep up with the latest news on the pandemic, subscribe to News 6′s coronavirus newsletter and go to ClickOrlando.com/coronavirus.


About the Author: