DeSantis expands access to COVID-19 vaccines beginning March 3

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced this week the expansion of people eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Expanded access to the COVID-19 vaccine begins tomorrow, March 3.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis increased the eligibility this week to include the following groups of people:

  • Long-term care facility residents and staff
  • Persons 65 years of age and older
  • Persons under 65 deemed extremely vulnerable
  • Healthcare personnel with direct patient contact
  • K-12 school employees 50 years of age and older
  • Sworn law enforcement officers 50 years of age and older
  • Firefighters 50 years of age and older

According to the Florida Department of Health website, a total of 3,034,636 people have received at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Florida, as of 12:05 a.m., March 1. Of those individuals, 1,343,423 have received their first dose and 1,691,213 have completed the two-dose series.

Publix Pharmacies throughout Florida are administering COVID-19 vaccinations, including various locations in Hernando, Pasco and Pinellas counties.

Online registration to receive the vaccine at Publix re-opens at 7 a.m., Wednesday, March 3, at www.Publix.com/covid-vaccine/florida. Appointments begin Friday, March 5. Registration cannot be completed over the phone.

Recipients of the COVID-19 vaccine do not have to be residents of the county where they receive the shot, but Florida residency is a must.

According to the Publix website, the state of Florida requires that those receiving their first vaccine dose provide proof of residency meeting criteria 1, 2 or 3 below.

  1. Valid Florida driver license issued by Florida State Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV).
    OR
  2. Valid Florida identification card issued by Florida State Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV).
    OR
  3. If a customer cannot present #1 or #2, the customer can prove satisfactory Florida residency by presenting a copy of any two of the following items if they reflect a Florida residential address (Note: A P.O. box or commercial/business address is not sufficient and the second item must be from a different category than the first item):
    • Category A: a deed, mortgage, monthly mortgage statement, mortgage payment booklet, OR residential rental or lease agreement
    • Category B: a utility hookup or utility work order dated within 60 days before the date of vaccination
    • Category C: a utility bill dated within two months of the date of vaccination
    • Category D: mail from a financial institution, including checking, savings, or investment account statements, dated within two months of the date of vaccination
    • Category E: mail from a federal, state, county, or municipal government agency, dated within two months of the date of vaccination
    • Category F: proof of a Florida residential address for the individual’s parent, stepparent, legal guardian, or other person with whom the seasonal resident resides in Florida, PLUS a written statement from the person with whom the seasonal resident resides stating that the seasonal resident does reside with him or her.