EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is no longer being updated. For the latest information on the coronavirus vaccine, please visit WFLA’s coronavirus page.
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.
Florida launched its long-awaited statewide vaccine registration website on Jan. 29. It’s not clear yet how that site will impact the vaccination efforts that are underway for residents on a county level in the 10 Tampa Bay area counties.
Here’s what to know about how to sign up for an appointment in each county:
Citrus County has held several first-come, first-serve vaccine drive-through clinics but, as of Tuesday, Jan. 26, does not have an upcoming clinic scheduled.
The county says 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.
Citrus County health officials say residents who received the first dose of the vaccine at the beginning of the month will soon receive a postcard in the mail with a date, time and location to get their second dose.
If someone who received the first dose has not received a postcard by Jan. 29, the county says they should call (352) 527-0068 and press menu option 9 then 3.
Hardee County Emergency Management says the county has “minimal vaccines” and is waiting for the state to send more.
The county has been communicating with residents through its Alert Hardee County mass notification system. County commissioners say an alert will be sent through the system when new appointments are available.
Eligible residents can only make appointments for the vaccine by calling (863) 773-4161.
Hernando County: Patient portal open
The Department of Health in Hernando County launched a patient portal for coronavirus vaccines that went live at 3 p.m. on Tuesday.
Eligible residents will be able to create a patient portal account online that will allow them to quickly schedule an appointment when more are made available. Those who create an account will not automatically get an appointment scheduled – the county says appointments can only be scheduled when an appointment window is live.
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: Waiting list open
The county announced Saturday that its COVID-19 Point of Distribution (POD) site will be at a new location in the Lakeshore Mall starting next week.
The vaccine POD location will be located in the former JCPenny mall entrance. You must make an appointment on their online portal before showing up.
The county will be closing their online portal Monday and start referring residents to the statewide preregistration system.
Hillsborough County: Raymond James Stadium takes over vaccination duties
The state-supported vaccination site at the University Mall in Hillsborough County will permanently relocate to Raymond James Stadium Monday.
The county health department website also encourages qualified individuals to check with their health care providers to see if there’s any vaccine available.
Hillsborough County is also starting to distribute second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. County officials say the vaccine appointment team is contacting residents to confirm their second shots. The second shots will be given at the original sites where the first doses of the vaccine were administered.
Manatee County: Vaccine lottery open
Manatee County is using a lottery system to register seniors for the vaccine. Only those 65 and older can get the vaccine.
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 time.
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 when they are available.
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. Additional appointments will be made available when the county receives more doses.
On Jan. 28, the county announced four more vaccination clinics for residents.
Registration for those appointments will open Sunday, Jan. 31 at 2 p.m.
Pinellas County: Appointments open Friday
Pinellas County has intermittently opened registration for vaccine appointments when it receives new shipments of vaccines.
On Thursday, Jan. 28 the county announced that appointments will reopen for vaccines at 3 p.m. Friday, Jan. 29. The county will be receiving 10,000 doses from the state.
Health officials are encouraging residents 65 and older to create an account on the county’s patient portal so they can log in quickly and schedule an appointment once they are made available. The appointments are expected to fill up quickly.
“Once you have registered, watch the news for when vaccines are available so you can log back in to the Patient Portal and schedule your appointment,” the county’s website says. “Please be patient as we have more than 250,000 people over 65 in the county to vaccinate, and there are a limited number of vaccine doses available as production grows to meet demand.”
The county announced Friday, Jan. 29 that the state’s appointment system is not yet in use in Pinellas. Users who signed up for Patient Portal in Pinellas County are also allowed to sign up on the state’s new site.
Polk County: Waiting list open
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: First dose notifications sent out Sunday (Jan. 31)
The Sarasota Health Department will send out first dose appointment notifications Sunday morning (Jan. 31) at 11 a.m. for 3,600 residents who are registered with the online system. As of Sunday morning, there were over 109,953 people registered to get the vaccine.
The appointments will be for Tuesday or Wednesday at the Sarasota Square Mall.
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?
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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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