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News about coronavirus in Florida and around the world is constantly emerging. It's hard to stay on top of it all but Health News Florida and WUSF can help. Our responsibility at WUSF News is to keep you informed, and to help discern what’s important for your family as you make what could be life-saving decisions.

How To Register For Coronavirus Vaccines Across Tampa Bay

man wearing mask inside car receives vaccine from nurse outside vehicle
Hillsborough County
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Here's what you need to know about receiving a coronavirus vaccine across the greater Tampa Bay region.

Here is a statewide and county-by-county breakdown of how to sign up for a coronavirus vaccine:

Statewide

* As of April 13, Florida’s federally supported coronavirus vaccine sites — including the Tampa Greyhound Track — were no longer offering the one-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine. The sites, however, will begin offering first doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at the federally supported sites starting April 20.

* Starting April 5, anyone 18 and older can sign up for a coronavirus vaccine, and anyone 16 or 17 years old can begin receiving the two-dose Pfizer coronavirus vaccine. Parental consent will be required for 16- and 17-year-olds, either in person or by a signed form. Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an emergency order on March 26 that says effective April 5, "all Floridians shall be eligible to receive any COVID-19 vaccine as prescribed by the Food and Drug Administration." The Pfizer vaccine has received emergency approval for ages 16 and older by the FDA. Go to patientportal.com to make a reservation.

* The state's four federally supported COVID-19 vaccination sites in Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa and Miami, including the site at the Tampa Greyhound Track, will stay open for an additional four weeks. The sites were expected to close April 28, but they will now remain open until May 26. The sites have received extra doses of coronavirus vaccines from the state's supply, which were originally slated for county and local sites. They will administer ,000] first doses of the Pfizer vaccine each day.

* On March 11, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the state has launched a new way for homebound seniors to sign up for coronavirus vaccines. These seniors can have the vaccines delivered to their homes by emailing HomeboundVaccine@em.myflorida.com and putting in their request. DeSantis said state strike teams have vaccinated more than 1,500 homebound seniors.

* On March 1, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced he is expanding COVID-19 vaccinations to law-enforcement officers, firefighters and K-12 teachers.

* The state has a statewide system that allows individuals who are eligible to pre-register for a coronavirus vaccine.

According to the website myvaccine.fl.gov, the registration system will allow those wanting to receive a vaccine to “save their place in line” and sign up on their own schedule.

Those who register and are deemed eligible will be notified when vaccines are available at state-supported vaccination sites.

The pre-registration system also provides county-by-county phone numbers to allow residents without internet access to make their appointments by phone.

* The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is partnering with Publix, Walmart and Southeastern Grocers to distribute the coronavirus vaccine in Florida. Southeastern Grocers owns Winn-Dixie, Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and BI-LO. Sam's Club, owned by Walmart, will also have the vaccine.

Here are the registration websites and information pages for each of these chains so far:

FLORIDA VACCINE SITES: Search for locations near you

Hillsborough

Here are the vaccine locations (each offered the Pfizer vaccine as of April 1):

No Appointment Necessary (vehicle not required):

  • Tampa Greyhound Track, 755 E. Waters Ave., Tampa. Daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (weekends included). Limited to 3,000 first doses per day. Second dose (appointment required)
  • Raymond James Stadium, 4201 N. Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa. Daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Limited to 1,600 first doses per day.
  • Children's Board , 1002 E Palm Ave, Tampa. Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Closed fourth Thursday of each month, closed April 16 and May 14). Limited to 250 doses per day

To make an appointment, call 1-866-200-3896, TTY 1-833-476-1029 or visit myvaccine.fl.gov.

Appointments Required (drive-thru sites):

  • 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 Street, Tampa
  • USF Yuengling Center Parking Lot, 12499 USF Bull Run Drive, Tampa

Appointments are mandatory, and Florida residency is required.

Residents are encouraged to book their vaccine appointments online at patientportalfl.com, and set up an account in advance. Appointments can also be made by calling (850) 848-5287.

The county is expanding its vaccine program and will distribute it at local senior communities. The vaccine is available at five distribution sites across the county. The goal is to deliver the vaccine directly to churches, senior homes and independent living communities across the county with a significant senior population. County officials say they have identified 350 such locations and they expect the list to grow.

Visit the Hillsborough County COVID website for a registration form, updates and more information.

Hillsborough County is also using its site at Ed Radice Sports Complex, 14720 Ed Radice Dr., Tampa, to vaccinate all health care workers who have direct contact with patients and people who are 50 and older and are employed in the following areas: K-12 schools, firefighters and law enforcement.

They must live or work in Hillsborough County and prove that they are eligible. Accepted documents include, an employee identification card, pay stub, medical license, tax documents or an employment verification letter on official letterhead.

Appointments are necessary and can be made by creating an account with CDR Health Pro by visiting patientportalfl.com. After creating an account, health care workers can enter the scheduling code: RADICE03. Then they will see available appointment times for the Ed Radice Sports Complex.

Questions should emailed to DOHHillsboroughPHP@flhealth.gov.

Pinellas

* The county opened a coronavirus vaccine site for health care workers on March 8. Vaccines will be available by appointment on the county's registration website only for health care workers who live in the county. Workers who come in direct contact with patients will be eligible. This includes physicians, paramedics and home health providers. Proof of eligibility is required. Those interested can make an appointment online by selecting Health Care Worker under Occupation.

* Pinellas County asks eligible residents to pre-register for the vaccine. Residents who have pre-registered through Patient Portal online platform will receive a text and/or email as vaccine appointments become available.

Appointments are mandatory to get the first of two vaccine injections.

The process will no longer involve open calls to all users, but rather direct notifications to smaller groups of users based on the number of available doses, Pinellas Communications said in a statement.

Residents will need to book appointments for both doses within 48 hours of the notification.

Here are the other vaccine locations in Pinellas:

  • Clearwater Health Center, 310 N. Myrtle Avenue in Clearwater
  • Mid-County Health Center, 8175 Ulmerton Road in Largo
  • St. Petersburg Health Center, 205 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street N. in St. Petersburg
  • 1197 East Bay Drive in Largo

Visit the Pinellas County COVID website for a registration form, updates and more information.

Polk

Polk County has activated a COVID-19 vaccine hotline. Residents who meet state guidelines can register for vaccine appointments by calling 863-298-7500. The hotline will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Polk County also has an online portal to take appointments.

If no appointments are available, residents can be placed on a registration list for a future vaccine appointment, as additional vaccines become available.

Visit the Polk County COVID website for a registration form, updates and more information.

Sarasota

The Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County has an online registration system for the COVID-19 vaccine and is regularly making updates to availability and eligibility.

Visit the Sarasota County COVID website for a registration form, updates and more information, or call 941-861-8297.

Manatee

The Department of Health in Manatee County is offering vaccinations to people who meet eligibility and by appointment only, as supply is available.

The latest update went into effect on March 15 and now includes the medically vulnerable.

Registrations are being taken online or by calling 311 on Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eligible recipients will be randomly selected from a pool as vaccines become available.

Visit the Manatee County COVID website for a registration form, updates and more information.

Pasco

* On March 3, Gov. Ron DeSantis continued to roll out more coronavirus vaccine stations during a stop in Zephyrhills. He announced a partnership with Walgreens, starting with two pharmacies in Pasco County that began distribution on March 5.

Residents 50 and over can schedule an appointment at patientportalfl.com or by calling (844) 770-8548 and creating an account with CDRMaguire.

A drive-through vaccination clinic also has been set up at Gulf View Square Mall, 9409 U.S. 19 in Port Richey, and Saint Leo University, 33701 State Road 52 in St. Leo. Vaccines are available by registration only.

Also, Publix is making vaccines available in the county.

Visit the Pasco County COVID website for a registration form, updates and more information, or call 727-861-5250.

Hernando

Appointments will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis, either online at patientportalfl.com or by calling (844) 770-8548. Limited availability of vaccines is anticipated over the next several weeks.

For more information, visit the Hernando County COVID website or call 352-540-6800.

Also, Publix locations across the county are also administering the vaccine.

Veterans

* The James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital is offering coronavirus vaccination efforts.

All veterans who are patients at James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital & Clinic, regardless of age or medical condition, are eligible. Homeless veterans, as well as vets living in VA congregate living areas and patients receiving chemotherapy, hemodialysis or organ transplants are also able to get vaccines at this time.

Staff will contact them directly to schedule an appointment. Veterans are encouraged to let their Primary Care Provider know so that they can make a note in the patient’s chart and follow up when vaccine is available to them.

On March 23, the hospital and Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County announced it is moving its drive-thru vaccination site to the Yuengling Center on the USF Tampa campus beginning March 30. A formal FEMA Mission Assignment created the unique partnership between Tampa VA and DOH-Hillsborough enabling the Tampa VA to vaccinate non-VA patients using doses provided by DOH-Hillsborough at a drive-thru clinic adjacent to the Tampa VA main hospital.

Vaccinations are being provided at the main hospital, its Primary Care Annex in Tampa and outpatient clinics in South Hillsborough and New Port Richey.

* Also, community members with connections to the veteran community may qualify for COVID-19 vaccines being made available by the James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital & Clinics and the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County.

The VA will begin providing 2,500 doses per week to community members who meet State of Florida guidelines, and who are:

  • A Veteran NOT currently enrolled (not currently a patient receiving care in the VA), or
  • A family member of ANY Veteran - patient of VA or not
  • A family member of a VA employee

Vaccines will be administered by appointment only at a drive-through clinic at Tampa VA’s Liberty and Freedom parking lots. Those who qualify to receive the vaccine can schedule an appointment at http://www.tampava.eventbrite.com/

For more information, visit https://www.tampa.va.gov/TAMPA/services/COVID_19_Vaccines_for_Community.asp

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