Finding a coronavirus vaccine in Florida is no easy feat, given the state’s patchwork of access points and eligibility rules that have frustrated many searching for shots.

The Tampa Bay Times has heard from plenty of readers who have questions about their eligibility, as well as how and where to sign up. So, we’ve created a guide detailing every vaccination site we know of in the region’s four core counties.

We’ve also included tips and tricks for snagging an appointment, as well as places you can go for help. Here’s what we know about vaccinations in Tampa Bay.

The basics

Some vaccination sites don’t require appointments. But organizers of those that do have said it’s important you don’t show up early, because it will cause congestion and delay appointments ahead of yours.

Be prepared to wait at least 15 minutes after your shot so you can be monitored for any adverse reactions.

Remember that if you receive a vaccine produced by Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, you must return to get a second dose in three or four weeks to ensure full protection from the coronavirus. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose of the vaccines by Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, or two weeks after the single dose of the vaccine by Johnson & Johnson.

Still, experts say you should continue to wear masks and social distance after vaccination unless all those around you have also been vaccinated. The CDC recently said it is safe for fully vaccinated people to gather without masks indoors.

Bring the right paperwork

Make sure you bring a photo ID, such as a Florida driver’s license, that shows your name and date of birth. If your license was issued elsewhere and doesn’t prove your status as a Florida resident, bring a document — a utility bill, deed or rental agreement — that confirms you live in the state.

It’s also important to have proof of your vaccine appointment. This can be a printed copy or a screenshot of your confirmation.

If you are eligible for a shot because of your employment, bring something that confirms it, such as an employee ID card or pay stub. If you are seeking a vaccine because you are considered medically vulnerable, you must have a state of Florida form signed by a doctor.

Where to go for help

Seniors:

The Senior Connections Center has various ways to help seniors find shots, and it’s working with local agencies to identify vulnerable homebound seniors who need to be vaccinated at home.

Counselors with SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) are hosting virtual presentations that explain Medicare coverage related to COVID-19 and coronavirus vaccines. They have the most up-to-date information on how and where to sign up for shots.

Seniors who need assistance or a connection to other resources can call the center’s Elder Helpline at 1-800-963-5337 or visit SeniorConnectionCenter.org.

Libraries:

Public libraries are a good place to go if you need a computer to use to sign up for a shot. Information on Pasco County libraries can be found here. Pinellas libraries are here, Hillsborough libraries are here, and Hernando libraries are here. All five Clearwater libraries have computers available for people to use to register for vaccination. Hours and locations can be found here. For more information, call 727-562-4970.

Signing up with county health departments:

Here are instructions for scheduling an appointment at patientportalfl.com, which is managed by CDR Maguire and used for appointments facilitated by county health departments in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco and Hernando:

Special accommodations

Homebound residents:

If you are homebound and unable to travel to get a vaccine, you can contact the Florida Division of Emergency Management to get on a list for vaccination at home. Email HomeboundVaccine@em.myflorida.com to receive a survey that will determine your eligibility.

Homebound veterans:

Florida veterans who are homebound should fill out the form at floridavets.org/homeboundveterans or call 850-487-1533, extension 9, to make an appointment for home vaccination.

Transportation for Medicaid recipients:

If you have Medicaid, you can get a free ride to and from your vaccine appointment. Once your shot is scheduled, call your health plan provider to get the name and phone number for your transportation service. If you are not in a health plan, call the Medicaid help line at 1-877-254-1055 to be connected with a transportation service.

You should schedule your ride at least three business days before your appointment, and be prepared to provide the following information: full name; Medicaid identification number; addresses of pickup and drop off locations; date of birth; name of health plan (if you are enrolled in one); date and time of your appointment; and your phone number.

You may have someone travel with you if it is medically necessary. Be sure to call the transportation service if your appointment is canceled or rescheduled.

Other accommodations:

Tampa Bay has one permanent vaccination site that is supported by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, located at the Tampa Greyhound Track, 755 E Waters Ave.

The site can accommodate people with sensory issues and disabilities. There is an American Sign Language interpreter on site at all times, as well as translation services for non-English speakers.

Related: Questions about coronavirus vaccines? Check our running list of answers.

Who is eligible for a shot, where?

Short answer: It’s complicated.

Who is eligible at a vaccination site depends on who is running the show. But it’s important to note that you don’t have to get a shot in your home county. Floridians can be vaccinated at any site in the state that deems them eligible.

For example, the federally supported state vaccination site at Tampa Greyhound Track, 755 E Waters Ave., is meant to serve the entire Tampa Bay region. People have come from far and wide to be vaccinated there because it has wider eligibility rules and accommodations for people who need them.

Tents and cones are up at the state-run vaccine site supported by the Federal Emergency Management Agency at Tampa Greyhound Track. Though in Hillsborough County, the site is meant to serve the entire Tampa Bay region.
Tents and cones are up at the state-run vaccine site supported by the Federal Emergency Management Agency at Tampa Greyhound Track. Though in Hillsborough County, the site is meant to serve the entire Tampa Bay region. [ MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE | Times ]

As of March 17, the following groups should be eligible for vaccination at state-run sites: Health care workers with direct patient contact; residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities; sworn law enforcement officers, firefighters and K-12 school employees aged 50 and older; people deemed medically vulnerable who have a signed form from a doctor; and any Floridian who is at least 60.

Those same groups, as well as others, are eligible at vaccine sites run and supported by the federal government, as well as at retail pharmacies. Those locations have said they will give shots to pre-K and childcare workers, as well as all K-12 employees, regardless of age.

Here’s a breakdown of who can get shots, where, and other details to know:

Shots in Hillsborough

FEMA vaccine sites

Locations: Tampa Greyhound Track, 755 E. Waters Ave., Tampa, and two smaller mobile vaccination sites that move every three to seven days. (One mobile site will be at City Life Church—Dale Mabry, 8411 N. Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa from March 18 through March 20, and then will move to the Larry Sanders Sports Complex, 5855 S. 78th St. in Tampa, from March 21 through March 23. The second site is scheduled to be at the Oakland Community Center in Haines City, 1008 Avenue D in Haines City in Polk County from March 18 through March 23.)

Eligible: Floridians 60 and older; health care workers with direct patient contact; residents or staff of long-term care facilities; firefighters and sworn law enforcement officers 50 and older; Floridians 18 and older who are determined to be extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 and have a completed form signed by a physician; child care and pre-K providers, as well as all K-12 employees; and anyone who needs a second Pfizer vaccine

Hours: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily at the Tampa Greyhound Track; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the satellite sites

Appointments: Not required, but you can use the state’s pre-registration system, myvaccine.fl.gov, or call 866-200-3896

Required documents: Identification; if applicable, form signed by a physician

More information: floridadisaster.org/covid19/vaccine/

Raymond James Stadium

Location: 4201 N. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa

Eligible: People 60 and older; health care workers with direct patient contact; residents or staff of long-term care facilities; people aged 50 and older who are firefighters, K-12 school employees or sworn law enforcement officers

Hours: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily; appointments required

Appointments: MyVaccine.FL.gov; a support phone number is 833-540-2028

Required documents: Proof of age/employment to meet eligibility requirements; proof of residency; appointment confirmation/QR code; CDC vaccination card (for second-dose appointments only)

More information: floridadisaster.org/covid19/vaccine/#shillsborough

An emergency services staffer gives a thumbs-up to a driver as others wait to exit after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at state-run vaccination site at Raymond James Stadium Monday, March 1, 2021 in Tampa.
An emergency services staffer gives a thumbs-up to a driver as others wait to exit after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at state-run vaccination site at Raymond James Stadium Monday, March 1, 2021 in Tampa. [ CHRIS URSO | Times ]

County health department

Locations: Vance Vogel Sports Complex, 13012 Bullfrog Creek Road, Gibsonton; Ed Radice Sports Complex, 14720 Ed Radice Drive, Tampa; TPepin’s Hospitality Centre, 4121 N. 50th St., Tampa (opening March 17)

Eligible: Florida residents age 60 and older; health care personnel with direct contact with the public; all pre-K-12 school employees; sworn law enforcement officers and firefighters who are 50 and older

Hours: By appointment only

Appointments: Create an account through patientportalfl.com

Required documents: Government-issued ID; proof of relevant employment, if applicable, such as a medical license, company ID badge, W-2 form showing employer or paystub

More information: hillsboroughcounty.org/en/residents/public-safety/covid-19-vaccine/county-vaccinations

Tampa Family Health Centers

Location: Different pop-up locations depending on day. See website for details.

Eligible: Only established patients who meet state eligibility requirements (although its website does not appear to put an age restriction on K-12 school employees who can get a shot)

Hours: Depends on day and location; drive-through vaccine events will move to different locations depending on day.

Appointments: No appointment necessary. Limited supply available.

Required documents: ID and/or proof of employment required

More information: tampafamilyhc.com/covid-19-updates2

Shots in Pinellas

County health department

Location: St. Petersburg, Largo, Pinellas Park with specific locations revealed after registration

Eligible: Anyone 60 and older, health care workers regardless of age, firefighters and law enforcement 50 and older, teachers 50 and older, medically vulnerable residents 18 and older who have a form signed by a doctor

Hours: Various times available online (check)

Appointments: Create an account at patientportalfl.com and register for an appointment or call 844-770-8548

Required documents: Photo ID with name and date of birth, proof of Florida residency, proof of appointment, vaccine consent form given during scheduling, proof of employment if eligibility is based on it

More information: covid19.pinellascounty.org/vaccines/

Community Health Centers of Pinellas, Inc.

Location: 7550 43rd St. N, Pinellas Park; 707 Druid Road, Clearwater; 1344 22nd St. S, St. Petersburg

Eligible: Floridians 60 and up; health care workers who work directly with patients; K-12 teachers and childcare workers, law enforcement and firefighters aged 50 and older; medically vulnerable residents 18 and older who have a form signed by a doctor

Hours: March 17-19 from 1 to 4 p.m.; pop-up clinic March 20 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Check website for future pop-up times, as they change week to week. Note that sites could reach capacity before the time they are scheduled to close.)

Appointments: Pop-up clinics; no appointment necessary

Required documents: Proof of Florida residency (such as driver’s license), proof of age, insurance card if insured, proof of employment, completed form verifying need if medically vulnerable

More information: chcpinellas.org/about-links/all-services/covid-19-vaccines

Shots in Pasco

Sears Auto Center at Gulf View Square Mall

Location: 9409 U.S. 19 in Port Richey

Eligible: Florida residents 60 and older; health care workers with direct patient contact; law enforcement, firefighters and K-12 school employees aged 50 and older; medically vulnerable residents 18 and older who have a form signed by a doctor

Hours: Tuesday and Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; appointment required

Appointments: Register at patientportalfl.com; appointments open each Sunday at 2 p.m. Contact CDR Maguire at 1-844-770-8548 for assistance.

Required documents: ID and/or proof of employment, as well as proof of appointment

More information: pasco.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/infectious-disease-services/COVID-19/covid-19-vaccination-faqs.html

A National Guard soldier helps with directing seniors receiving COVID-19 vaccinations in the parking lot of Gulf View Square Mall in Port Richey.
A National Guard soldier helps with directing seniors receiving COVID-19 vaccinations in the parking lot of Gulf View Square Mall in Port Richey. [ OCTAVIO JONES | Times ]

St. Leo University

Location: St. Leo University, 33701 State Road 52 in St. Leo

Eligible: Florida residents 60 and older; health care workers with direct patient contact; law enforcement, firefighters and K-12 school employees aged 50 and older; medically vulnerable residents 18 and older who have a form signed by a doctor

Hours: Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; appointment required

Appointments: Register at patientportalfl.com; appointments open each Sunday at 2 p.m. Contact CDR Maguire at 1-844-770-8548 for assistance.

Required documents: ID and/or proof of employment, as well as proof of appointment

More information: pasco.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/infectious-disease-services/COVID-19/covid-19-vaccination-faqs.html

Shots in Hernando

Hernando County Fairgrounds

Location: 6436 Broad St. in Brooksville

Eligible: Floridians 60 and older; sworn law enforcement, firefighters and K-12 school employees 50 and older

Hours: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., March 16-17; appointment required

Appointments: Register at patientportalfl.com. Contact CDR Maguire at 1-844-770-8548 for assistance.

Required documents: Proof of age, such as a driver’s license; proof of employment

More information: hernando.floridahealth.gov/

Pine Brook Pharmacy

Location: 14111 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville; 10507 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill; 11373 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville

Eligible: Floridians 60 and older; sworn law enforcement officers, firefighters and K-12 school employees 50 and older; people 18 or older who are considered medically vulnerable and have a completed state of Florida form saying so

Hours: Available while stores are open, hours vary by location; appointment required

Appointments: Register at pinebrookpharmacy.com. Call 352-397-4302.

Required documents: Proof of age, such as a driver’s license; proof of employment; medically vulnerable form if applicable

More information: pinebrookpharmacy.com

Shots at retail stores

Publix

Locations: 730 Publix pharmacies throughout the state

EIigible: All K-12 and child care teachers and personnel; people ages 60 and older; medically vulnerable residents 18 and older who have a form signed by a doctor; health care professionals with direct patient contact and residents and staff members of long-term care facilities; and individuals ages 50 and older who are firefighters or sworn law enforcement officers

Note: Publix is currently prioritizing employees in the education field for doses, following a federal directive.

Hours: By appointment only.

Appointments: Sign up only available online at publix.com/covid-vaccine/florida. Scheduling opportunities that open on Wednesday are reserved for people wanting Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Required documents: If applicable, state of Florida form signed by physician; Medicare members should bring their red, white and blue Medicare Part B card. Customers without health insurance will need to provide their driver’s license or Social Security number.

More information: publix.com/covid-vaccine/florida

CVS

Locations: Nearly 200 locations throughout the state, including in Clearwater, Palm Harbor, Pinellas Park, Plant City, Tampa and St. Petersburg. See CVS site for all locations.

Eligible: People 60 and older; health care workers/EMS with direct patient contact; people aged 50 and older who are firefighters or sworn law enforcement officers; medically vulnerable residents 16 and older who have a form signed by a doctor

Hours: By appointment only

Appointments: Online at cvs.com/covidvaccine or by calling customer service at 800-746-7287

Required documents: Bring a driver’s license or other ID and an insurance card if you have one in case it’s requested; if applicable, bring a signed “determination of extreme vulnerability” form; CVS said individuals must affirm they meet eligibility requirements as part of the online scheduling process

More information: cvs.com/immunizations/covid-19-vaccine

Walgreens

Locations: More than 200 of its stores across Florida

Eligible: Health care workers with direct patient contact; long-term care facility residents and staff; people 60 and older; people 18 and older who are medically vulnerable and have a state of Florida form signed by a doctor; police and firefighters ages 50 and older; staff of any age working in childcare, Head Start and Early Head Start centers, as well as in pre-K through 12th grade

Hours: By appointment only

Appointments: Visit Walgreens.com/ScheduleVaccine or call 1-800-WALGREENS

Required documents: An ID confirming identity and something that proves employment status (if seeking a shot based on your job)

More information: walgreens.com/findcare/vaccination/covid-19

Walmart

Locations: More than 200 Walmart and Sam’s Club locations across Florida

Eligible: Florida residents 60 and older; health care workers and EMS; people 50 and older who are firefighters or sworn law enforcement officers; medically vulnerable residents 16 and older who have a form signed by a doctor; pre-K-12 staff and child care workers of all ages

Hours: By appointment only

Appointments: Online at walmart.com/COVIDvaccine or samsclub.com/covid

Required documents: Identification; if applicable, proof of eligibility, such as a work ID badge or the physician form; medical health care insurance card, if you have one, and pharmacy card if different from insurance card

More information: walmart.com/COVIDvaccine or samsclub.com/covid

Winn-Dixie

Locations: Select Winn-Dixie, Fresco y Más and Harveys Supermarket pharmacies

Eligible: Long-term care facility residents and staff; Floridians 60 years and older; medically vulnerable residents 18 and older who have a form signed by a doctor); health care workers with direct patient contact; pre-K-12 school employees and day care workers; people 50 years of age and older who are sworn law enforcement officers or firefighters

Hours: By appointment only

Appointments: Online at winndixie.com/pharmacy/covid-vaccine, harveyssupermarkets.com/pharmacy/covid-vaccine and frescoymas.com/pharmacy/covid-vaccine

Required documents: ID; insurance card; if applicable, medically vulnerable form

More information: winndixie.com/pharmacy/covid-vaccine

A Winn Dixie pharmacy in Apollo Beach is pictured during its first day of vaccination rollout on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021.
A Winn Dixie pharmacy in Apollo Beach is pictured during its first day of vaccination rollout on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]

Shots elsewhere

Pop-up vaccine sites

Both the state and individual counties have been organizing pop-up vaccination sites, often at churches, community centers or retirement communities. Times, locations and details vary.

For more information on upcoming state-supported pop-up vaccine sites at places of worship, go to floridadisaster.org/covid19/vaccine/.

Hospitals and doctors

Some hospitals are continuing to get some vaccine doses, although amounts vary by location, as do how the shots are being doled out. The state has also begun sending coronavirus vaccine doses to doctor’s offices, meaning some patients will be able to obtain shots from their own medical providers.

Veterans Affairs

Veterans, including those who aren’t enrolled in VA medical care, as well as their family members, can now get a coronavirus vaccine at the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital in Tampa as long as they meet Florida’s vaccination eligibility guidelines. Read more here.

• • •

HOW CORONAVIRUS IS SPREADING IN FLORIDA: Find the latest numbers for your county, city or zip code.

VACCINES Q & A: Have coronavirus vaccine questions? We have answers, Florida.

FACE MASKS: Two masks are better than one, according to CDC

GET THE DAYSTARTER MORNING UPDATE: Sign up to receive the most up-to-date information.

THE CORONAVIRUS SCRAPBOOK: We collected your stories, pictures, songs, recipes, journals and more to show what life has been like during the pandemic.

A TRIBUTE TO THE FLORIDIANS TAKEN BY THE CORONAVIRUS: They were parents and retirees, police officer and doctors, imperfect but loved deeply.

HAVE A TIP?: Send us confidential news tips

We’re working hard to bring you the latest news on the coronavirus in Florida. This effort takes a lot of resources to gather and update. If you haven’t already subscribed, please consider buying a print or digital subscription.



Source link