The eligiblity range for COVID-19 vaccinations in Florida will drop to age 50 effective March 22, according to an Executive Order signed March 19 by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
In his executive order, the governor noted "the State of Florida is leading the effort to distribute the vaccine to the elderly and vulnerable populations."
The State of Florida has successfully provided vaccines to over three million individuals, he continued.
Effective March 22, 2021, providers administering any COVID-19 vaccine shall only vaccinate the following populations:
• Long-term care facility residents and staff;
• Persons 50 years of age and older; and
• Health care personnel with direct patient contact.
The Florida Department of Health in Okeechobee is prepared to follow the executive order outlining that eligibility requirement with doses available to the county.
The Florida Department of Health in Okeechobee has been offering the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccines weekly at a drive-through vaccination distribution site located at the Okeechobee Agri-Civic Center located at 4601 Fl Hwy 710 East. These distributions are by appointment only.
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.)
Proof of Florida residency is required.
To prove residency an adult resident must provide a copy of his or her valid Florida driver license or a copy of a valid Florida identification card issued by the state.
Those who do not have a Florida driver license or ID card may provide a copy of two of the following to 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.
6. Mail from a federal, state, county, or municipal government agency, not more than 2 months old.
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/.
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.
Okeechobee County Library offers help
Staff at the Okeechobee County Library are available to assist with registering for an appointment, prechecking residency documentation, assisting with consent forms, or other appointment related questions by calling 863-763-3536.
Okeechobee County continues to work closely with Department of Health officials to offer any support and resources necessary to ensure the community needs can be met. All questions regarding proof of Florida residency should be directed to the Florida Department of Health in Okeechobee County at 863-462-5800, Florida’s COVID-19 Call Center available 24/7 at 866)-779-6121 or email COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org.