Snowbirds are also eligible for a vaccine, although Florida is now limiting doses to full-time and part-time residents. People can't travel to Florida just to get a vaccine.
Where can I get a vaccine?
Pharmacies, health clinics and medical providers. Doses have been distributed to hundreds of hospitals and pharmacies, some of which are listed on Florida’s vaccine locator tool. The tool does not list every vaccine site in the state. You can also visit the websites of CVS, Publix Pharmacy, Winn-Dixie, Harveys and Fresco y Más to find appointments. Certain Target stores with CVS pharmacies inside are offering vaccinations — visit CVS.com to find appointments. Vaccines are also available at some Walmart and Sam’s Club locations. You’ll need to create an account with your name and email to get a vaccine through Walmart or create a guest account to go through Sam’s Club.
Local health departments. Contact your county health department to determine where you can get a vaccine. You can pre-register to get a vaccine through MyVaccine.fl.gov. Some counties have set up vaccine hotlines for residents to more easily schedule appointments.
Federal mass vaccination sites, which have opened at Miami-Dade Community College (North Campus), the Tampa Greyhound Track, Orlando's Valencia College (West Campus) and Jacksonville's Gateway Mall. You can pre-register online or call county pre-registration hotlines if you don't have internet access.
Vaccine supplies are limited everywhere and available only to those now eligible under each state’s phased plan. Most vaccine sites require you to schedule an appointment online or by phone. Appointments can be very hard to get, as available time slots are booked quickly, and you may experience long wait times on the phone. If a time slot is not available, you may be put on the site’s waiting list. Some people are signing up at multiple sites to increase chances of getting an appointment. Once you have a confirmed appointment, public health officials ask that you don’t schedule or confirm another with any other provider so that vaccine appointments stay open for others.
What should I bring to my vaccination appointment?
Some vaccination sites ask for proof of identity or eligibility. Officials recommend that you bring a driver’s license or other state-issued ID that shows your name, age and state residency, and your health insurance card, if you have one. You will not be charged, but the vaccine provider may bill your insurer a fee for administering the vaccine.
If you are eligible due to an underlying medical condition or comorbidity, you may need a note from your doctor or some other form of proof. If you are eligible on the basis of your work, bring proof of employment such as a pay stub, badge or letter from your employer.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says to wear a mask at your appointment.
Who will be eligible to get vaccinated next?
Adults 60 and older will be able to get a vaccine starting on March 15. AARP is fighting for older Americans to be prioritized in getting COVID-19 vaccines because the science has shown that older adults, especially those with underlying medical conditions like heart disease and diabetes, are at increased risk for hospitalization and death from COVID-19.
How will residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities get vaccinated?
Most residents and staff of long-term care facilities are being vaccinated through a federal program that has contracted with CVS and Walgreens to administer the two-dose COVID-19 vaccines at three free on-site clinics at the facilities.
Almost all nursing homes, which were given first priority, have completed their first and second clinics, and most have also finished their final clinics, according to data from CVS and Walgreens. Many assisted living and other long-term care facilities are also taking part in the program. Almost all of them have completed their first clinics, and most have completed their second. All the vaccination clinics are slated to be complete by late March.
Do I have to pay for the vaccination?
You should not have any out-of-pocket cost for getting the vaccine. AARP fought to make sure the federal government is covering the cost of the vaccine itself. Providers can recoup a fee for administering the shot, but not from consumers. They would be reimbursed by the patient’s insurance company or the government (in the case of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries and the uninsured, for example).
Scammers are purporting to offer COVID vaccines and treatments and trying to charge for them. AARP's Fraud Watch Network is tracking the latest scams.
I’ve heard that some vaccines require a second shot.
The COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna require two doses. If you get one of these, you’ll need a follow-up dose to be effectively immunized. The recommended second-shot date is three weeks after a first dose of the Pfizer vaccine and four weeks for Moderna’s, but the CDC says an interval of up to six weeks is acceptable. You should get a card from your provider stating when and where to return for the second dose. The state says it will send reminders via text, emails and phone calls.
Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine requires just one shot.
It’s not yet known how long immunity from a coronavirus vaccine lasts and whether it needs to be administered on a regular basis like a flu shot.
Should I still wear a mask after getting vaccinated?
Yes. Experts still need to learn more about the protection the vaccines provide under "real-life conditions," the CDC says. It could take your body a few weeks to build up immunity after the second dose of a vaccine. And while the Pfizer vaccine is effective at preventing symptoms of COVID-19, it’s not yet clear whether someone who’s been vaccinated can still catch the virus and transmit it to others.
The vaccine is just one tool that can help slow the spread of the coronavirus. The CDC says it could take months for the population to build up immunity, and it continues to recommend preventive measures such as face masks and social distancing.
AARP has also called for ongoing monitoring of vaccines, once they are authorized for public use, to identify any risks that weren’t evident in the expedited development and review process.
This guide was originally published on Dec. 18 and was updated March 12 with new information about where to get a vaccine.