ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida health officials are asking local leaders to provide vaccines to Florida residents, including snowbirds, first. The decision comes as the state faces shortages of the vaccine.
Florida’s top health officer on Thursday advised counties across his state to prioritize available doses to residents, including those who reside in the state part-time.
In a two-page advisory signed by Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees, the state Health Department noted that the “vaccine remains scarce with the United States and vaccine availability in Florida is extremely limited.”
As a result, Rivkees issued a public health advisory that directs “prioritization of Floridians for COVID-19 vaccine in Florida.”
That means vaccine providers must first ascertain whether a shot recipient is a permanent or seasonal resident by providing a driver’s license or a host of other documents, including rental leases and utility bills as spelled out by the state Health Department.
Florida was one of the first to open vaccine eligibility to members of the general public over age 65.
To find out if you’re eligible for a vaccine in Florida, click or tap here.
The updated resident policy comes as Florida begins to rollout a state-wide vaccine appointment system.
[READ YESTERDAY’S REPORT: Florida reports 12,000 new cases of COVID-19 as more Floridians wait for vaccine]
Below is a breakdown of Florida COVID-19 data reported by the state on Jan. 22.
The Florida Department of Health reported 13,435 new cases on Friday, bringing the state’s overall total to 1,627,603 cases since the coronavirus pandemic began in March.
Florida reported 277 new virus-related deaths Friday, raising the death toll to 25,405. This number includes the 394 non-residents who died in Florida.
As of Friday afternoon, there were currently 6,904 people with the virus hospitalized in Florida, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration.
Since March, 69,735 people have been hospitalized in Florida after complications from COVID-19. That number includes the 453 new patients who have been recently hospitalized due to the virus, according to the health department’s daily report released on Friday.
The percent of positive results was 12.37% for the 108,594 tests reported Thursday.
Health officials say the rate should remain between 5% and 10% to prove a community has a hold of the virus and is curbing infections.
The Florida Department of Health recently began releasing a daily report on COVID-19 vaccines administered throughout the state.
As of Friday, 1,249,804 people have been vaccinated in Florida. The FDOH also reports that 139,345 people have received their second shot.
See COVID-19 data for the Central Florida region below:
|County||Cases||New cases||Hospitalizations||New hospitalizations||Deaths||New Deaths|