Following weeks of complaints that scant vaccination supplies were being taken up by those from out of state, or even tourists from other countries, Florida took action Thursday to limit vaccinations to Florida residents.
On Thursday, Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees issued an executive order requiring those seeking a vaccination in Florida to provide proof of state residency or proof of being a health care provider with direct patient contact. Before this executive order was issued, the state only required the person be over the age of 65 or a health care provider.
Part-time residents qualify for vaccinations, under the executive order. In a news conference Wednesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis said the winter residents, who live in Florida for several months of the year, pay taxes and contribute to the economy should be allowed to get the vaccine in Florida.
“Vaccinating snowbirds, people who live here, rent, own a house, pay taxes, contribute to the economy, they’re eligible. If they get sick while they’re here, they wind up in our hospitals but that is very different from vaccine tourism,” said State Emergency Director Jared Moskowitz.
The criteria used for state residency is outlined in the Florida Statutes, chapter 381. To prove Florida residency, a person must show a valid Florida driver license or a valid Florida identification card OR provide two items that show proof of residential address, including:
• A deed, mortgage, monthly mortgage statement, mortgage payment booklet or residential rental or lease agreement;
• Proof of residential address from the seasonal resident’s parent, step-parent, legal guardian or other person with whom the seasonal resident resides and a statement from the person with whom the seasonal resident resides stating that the seasonal resident does reside with him or her;
• A utility hookup or work order dated within 60 days before vaccination;
• A utility bill, not more than 2 months old;
• Mail from a financial institution, including checking, savings, or investment account statements, not more than 2 months old;
• Mail from a federal, state, county, or municipal government agency, not more than 2 months old.