Ready to sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine at one of the state or county sites?
Go online to https://myvaccine.fl.gov/ or call to use the state vaccination waitlist for COVID-19 appointments. Call 866-201-1060 to make an appointment in Okeechobee County; 866-201-6745 for Hendry County; 866-201-6695 for Glades County; 866-201-7037 for Martin County; 866- 201-4885 for Collier County; 866-200-3858 for Highlands County; 866-201-7013 for DeSoto County. (Palm Beach County residents can sign up for a vaccination appointment at http://vaccine.hcdpbc.org/or call 561-804-4115.)
Don’t make these common mistakes:
• Don’t sign up more than once with the state waitlist. Every time you sign up, it deletes your earlier entries. Signing up multiple times just keeps putting your name lower on the list. If you are worried that something went wrong when you signed up and your name somehow didn’t make it on the list, use the “check my status” option on https://myvaccine.fl.gov/
• Don’t try to register for more than one county. Floridians can sign up for any vaccinations in any county in the state, but you have to pick one county. Each time you sign up, the list deletes your earlier entry. For example, if you already signed up using the Hendry County phone number and then you sign up using the Okeechobee County phone number, it will delete your name on the waitlist for Hendry County.
• Don’t arrive more than 15 minutes early for your appointment. The vaccination pods are designed to schedule a certain number of people every 15 minutes (depending on the number of vaccinators at the pod). If you have an appointment, you will be vaccinated. If you arrive more than 15 mintues early, you slow the system for everyone else while you are pulled out of the line and directed to a waiting area.
• Don’t show up for a vaccination if you are sick. If you are running a fever, you cannot be vaccinated. Stay home if you are sick. But be sure to call the designated number for your county to let them know you won’t be there.
• Don’t skip the appointment without calling. If you sign up for the state waitlist and then get an appointment elsewhere (such as Publix or Walmart), call the designated number for your county to take your name off the list.
• Don’t forget the required paperwork. You’ll need the vaccination consent form and proof of Florida residency. If you sign up online, you will have a link to fill out the consent form on your computer and print it out. If you sign up by phone, you can go to the website to print out the form. Paper copies of the consent form are also available. Call your county health department for information. (In Okeechobee, you can pick up a paper form at the Okeechobee County library, and library staff can answer any questions you have about filling it out.) If you have a Florida Driver’s License or state-issued ID card, that is sufficient for proof of residency. If you don’t have a Florida Driver’s License or ID, you’ll need a photo ID as well as two documents which show you own or rent property in Florida. Seasonal residents may provide a copy of two of the following the show proof of residential address:
1. A deed, mortgage, monthly mortgage statement, mortgage payment booklet or residential rental or lease agreement.
2. One proof of residential address from the season resident’s parent, step-parent or 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.
3. A utility hookup or work order dated within 60 days before registration.
4. A utility bill, not more than 2 months old.
5. Mail from a financial institution, including checking, savings, or investment account statements, not more than 2 months old.
• Don’t forget to sign your consent form. You can fill out the form on the website and then print it out, but you still need to sign and date it.
• Don’t try to lie about your age if you are not yet eligible for vaccination. Earlier this year, two women, ages 34 and 44, tried to use wigs and makeup to pose as senior citizens in order to obtain vaccinations in Orange County. Deputies escorted them from the site and threatened to arrest them if they returned before they are eligible. As more vaccine becomes available, eligiblity will open up to everyone.
• Do not show up without a mask. Face masks are required at vaccination sites whenever you are interacting with volunteers and medical staff. However, you can remove your mask when your car windows are rolled up, for example when you are driving from one station to the next or during the 15-minute waiting period to make sure you do not have a reaction to the vaccine. If someone who is not yet eligible for vaccination is driving you, make sure they have a mask too.
Here are some things to do:
• Do ASNWER YOUR PHONE. State officials report they have not been able to reach many of those on the waitlsit because they do not answer the phone. Apparenlty, some people mistake the call for spam calls. If you do not want to be notified by phone, you can opt for email or a text message.
• Do answer all questions truthfully on the state website, on the printed form and in person at the site on the day of the vaccination. The medical personnel are trying to keep you safe. That’s why they need to know if you have allergies, if you use an epi-pen, if you have been vaccinated for something else within the last 14 days, etc.
• Do pre-register on state waitlist, even if you are not yet eligible. You don't have to wait to put your name and date of birth on the state waitlist. According to the state website “when you per-register, you will also be signed up to receive updates as eligibility requirements expand.”
• Do show up on time. The vaccination pods are scheduled to keep the flow going smoothly. That flow depends on people arriving by their assigned time.
• At the drive-thru sites, do plan to be in your car for an hour. For example, you might want to take a bottle of water with you.
• Do be patient. The vaccination pods run pretty smoothly, but the process does take time. They have to check your vaccination consent form, ID and proof of Florida residency. They have to ask each person health questions. After the shot, they have to keep you there for 15 minutes to make sure you don’t have a reaction. Those with certain health conditions may have to stay longer.
• Do be nice to the volunteers and county and state staff at the vaccination sites. They are working long hours to help protect you from the virus.
Florida has many sites providing COVID-19 vaccine. Use the vaccine finder to find a site near you: Go online to https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/vaccines/vaccine- locator/.
Those eligible for vaccination include:
• Persons 50 years of age and older;
• Persons determined to be extremely vulnerable by a physician (form required);
• Health care workers with direct patient contact.
Medicaid transportation - If you have Medicaid and need a ride to get a COVID-19 vaccination, Florida Medicaid will take you to get the COVID-19 vaccine at no cost. First set up a time to get your vaccine. Next, let your Medicaid plan know you need a ride and they will take care of the rest. If you are not enrolled in a Medicaid transportation plan, call the Medicaid Helpline at 1-877-254-1055 to find out the name and phone number for a transportation service.
In addition to those on the state eligibility list, teachers of all ages and individuals deemed extremely vulnerable due to health conditions of all ages may be vaccinated at federal vaccination sites at Tampa Greyhound Track, Valencia College West Campus in Orlando, Gateway Mall in Jacksonville and Miami-Dade Community College. Individuals who have been deemed extremely vulnerable need to present the Florida Department of Health form that has been signed by their doctor when they arrive to the sites. Each group of one primary site and coordinating satellite sites will offer 4,000 vaccinations per day. All sites are walk-up sites. The schedule for these sites can be found online at FloridaDisaster.org.