The Florida Department of Health in Pasco County provided updates on its COVID-19 testing procedures and vaccination process this week.
According to a pair of press releases, hours will be reduced for drive-thru COVID testing in Port Richey and second doses of vaccines will start to be provided on Jan. 26.
The reduction of testing hours at Gulf View Square Mall, 9409 U.S. Highway 19, begins Jan. 25. Testing will be reduced to three days per week– Monday, Wednesday and Friday – from 8-11 a.m.
"This will allow county partners to shift resources the rest of the week to COVID vaccinations to meet the needs of the community," according to the press release.
Second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will start being administered at clinics on Jan. 26, DOH-Pasco officials announced.
A press release states that individuals who received their first vaccination dose between Dec. 31 and Jan. 8 will get no-reply emails from CDRM Health. Officials are reminding individuals that the emails will not come from DOH-Pasco to register for the second dose.
Individuals will need to create an account through CDR Maguire at PatientPortalFL.com or by calling 1-844-770-8548 to register for the second dose. Creating an account is required to register.
"We have appointments set aside for just second doses so you will have a slot available to you via the link that is sent to you from CDR Maguire," the DOH-Pasco press release states.
The county is operating one clinic location at the moment, also at Gulf View Square Mall in Port Richey. The drive-thru clinic is out front of the Sears Auto Center.
Second-dose appointments will be held between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Jan. 26 and 28 and Feb. 2 and 4.
The press release states that the second COVID-19 vaccination dose is received 28 days after the first dose. "However, per the manufacturer, FDA and CDC, the Moderna vaccine has a 4-day grace period before the due date and can be administered any time after the due date," the release states.
There is no maximum interval between the first and second doses, DOH-Pasco reports, but the second dose should be administered as close to the recommended interval as possible. DOH-Pasco has only used the Moderna vaccine up to this point.
Health officials provided additional preparation information for individuals getting second doses.
"If the online patient portal was used to register for an appointment (instead of calling), those people should bring a printed or digital copy of the confirmation email they received containing a QR code," the press release states. "Please bring your vaccination card that you received with your first dose, as well as a photo I.D. to your appointment."
More information on DOH-Pasco's vaccination operation can be found online at Pasco.FloridaHealth.gov.