COVID-19 vaccines: Where are shots available in Tampa Bay for residents 65+?


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Coronavirus vaccines have arrived in the Sunshine State, and many Floridians are trying to figure out when they will be able to get vaccinated.

All 10 Tampa Bay area counties have started vaccinating eligible residents. Here’s what we know about vaccine distribution in each county:

Citrus County

Citrus County started vaccinating those 65 and older on Jan. 7. There are no appointments available currently, but the county health department says new vaccination clinic dates will be announced as vaccines become available.

The county said only the Moderna vaccine will be given at this time. The vaccines will be provided at no cost. Anyone who wants to get vaccinated will have to provide a valid ID. They will also need to plan on being in Citrus County for their second dose of the vaccine 28 days after their first shot.

Hardee County

Hardee County officials started distributing a “limited number of vaccines” the first week of January. The county health department has not released any information on additional doses.

The county said additional information will be released as more vaccines become available. For past clinics, anyone who is 65 or older or is a health care professional who has direct patient contact was able to make an appointment by calling (863) 773-4161.

Hernando County

The Department of Health in Hernando County says it has reached capacity for COVID-19 vaccine appointments. The county will release more information when additional appointments are available.

Residents will receive the Moderna vaccine, and there will be no cost for shots offered by the health department. Anyone getting the vaccine will have to sign a consent form and will be given a reminder card for their second dose.

Highlands County

Highlands County is currently allowing residents 65 and older to register and be put on a waiting list to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The county has a hotline and online registration portal available to seniors. The online portal is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Seniors can also call (863) 402-6780 every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Those on the waiting list will be contacted when an appointment to get the vaccine is available.

Hillsborough County

All available appointments in Hillsborough County have been booked. The county says it expects to offer additional appointments when more vaccine doses are made available, but did not say when they expect a new shipment.

The county officially started vaccinating seniors Wednesday, Jan. 6. Four vaccine distribution sites were set up: the University Mall parking lot on East Fowler Avenue in Tampa, the Vance Vogel Sports Complex on Bullfrog Creek Road in Gibsonton, the Strawberry Festival Fairgrounds on West Risk Street in Plant City and the Ed Radice Sports Complex on Ed Radice Drive in Tampa.

The county health department website also encourages qualified individuals to check with their health care providers to see if there’s any vaccine available.

Manatee County: Vaccine lottery open

Manatee County is using a lottery system to register seniors for the vaccine. Only those 65 or older can get the vaccine and they have to be in Manatee County to get the second dose 28 days after the first shot.

Seniors can pre-register by calling 311 or (941) 748-4501 Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pre-registration to get into the waiting pool can also be done online 24/7. The open-ended registration system allows up to two people at a time to log on and join the standby pool. The county says anyone 65 and older who wants to be vaccinated needs to join the waiting pool list.

When more vaccine doses are made available, the county says it will pull names from the pool using randomized selection. Representatives will then call those pre-registered seniors and help them book an appointment.

Anyone who gets an appointment will need to fill out a vaccine screening and consent form that will be required at the appointment along with a valid ID and a confirmation number.

Pasco County: Patient portal open

Pasco County has opened a patient portal to allow seniors 65 and older to schedule an appointment to get the coronavirus vaccine.

Appointments can be scheduled online or by calling (844) 770-8548. If appointments are full by phone, the county says seniors will be told to go online and pre-register for a future appointment. The health department says anyone who has pre-registered will get an email with information on how to book an appointment.

A total of 500 doses will be available by appointment only on Friday, Jan. 15 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at St. Leo University on State Road 52 in St. Leo.

Additional appointments will be made available when the county receives more doses.

Pinellas County: All appointments booked

Pinellas County opened registration for seniors to make COVID-19 vaccine appointments Friday morning but all 10,000 appointments were quickly booked.

The county has not said when registration will reopen.

Polk County: Waiting list open

Polk County is using a new COVID-19 vaccine hotline and an online patient portal to register seniors to get the shot.

The hotline can be reached at (863) 298-7500. It’s staffed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Seniors who call the hotline or use the online portal will be able to sign up for one of the limited number of vaccine appointments available or, if the appointments are filled, get put on a registration list for a future appointment.

Sarasota County: All appointments booked

Sarasota County’s health department has been regularly posting new rounds of COVID-19 vaccine appointments on its website and on Eventbrite.

In order to be eligible for the vaccine in Sarasota County, individuals must be 65 or older or be a health care worker on the frontlines. Anyone who gets the first dose of the vaccine will also have to be in Sarasota County to get the second vaccine dose 28 days later.

Before getting the vaccine, individuals must download and complete a vaccine screening and consent form. That form will be required at the appointment along with a confirmation number and a valid ID.

Non-county options


Vaccines are available for eligible patients of the Tampa General Medical Group.


AdventHealth is distributing COVID-19 vaccines in a phased approach to eligible patients. The medical group said eligible providers and patients will receive an email from AdventHealth with information on how to register for the vaccines. Shots will be given at locations in Carrollwood, Clearwater and Zephyrhills. Appointments will be required and walk-ins will not be accepted.

AdventHealth is also allowing members of the community to sign up online for updates on when they may be eligible to get the vaccine.


Bayfront Health St. Petersburg also has vaccines available to certain, eligible patients who are 65 or older. Due to the limited supply of the vaccine, Bayfront said scheduling information will be communicated directly to those eligible and appointments will be first-come, first-serve.


Three Publix locations throughout Citrus County are participating in a pilot program to distribute vaccines:

  • Crystal Springs Shopping Center: 6760 West Gulf to Lake Highway in Crystal River
  • Shoppes of Sugarmill Woods: 9525 South Suncoast Boulevard in Homosassa
  • Publix Plaza Inverness: 1012 West Main Street in Inverness

Several Publix locations throughout Hernando County are also part of the program:

  • Brooksville Square: 19390 Cortez Boulevard in Brooksville
  • Shoppes of Citrus Hills: 2685 North Forest Ridge Boulevard in Hernando
  • Shoppes at Avalon: 13455 County Line Road in Spring Hill
  • Publix at Seven Hills: 160 Mariner Boulevard in Spring Hill
  • Lakewood Plaza: 4365 Commercial Way in Spring Hill
  • Publix at Barclay: 14371 Spring Hill Drive in Spring Hill
  • Mariner Commons: 4158 Mariner Boulevard in Spring Hill
  • The Shoppes at Glen Lakes: 9595 Commercial Way in Weeki Wachee

Are you having trouble signing up to get a coronavirus vaccine in the Tampa Bay area?
Fill out our 8 On Your Side form to report the problems you’re having.

Editor’s note: This story will be updated as counties release more information on vaccines. Please check back for new information.


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