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COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Florida Department of Health in Monroe County

The Florida Department of Health in Monroe County and Monroe County Emergency Management are working in partnership with multiple agencies to provide COVID-19 vaccines in Monroe County. Please remember that there are thousands of people trying to register for a limited number of vaccines. We are experiencing extremely high call volume. Vaccine Registration websites are experiencing extremely high usage. Vaccine appointments will be booked extremely quickly. This is a historic mass vaccination effort. It is going to take some time to vaccinate everyone who wants to be vaccinated. Your patience and understanding are essential and appreciated.

COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility

Governor DeSantis has expanded the groups eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Florida. Beginning March 3, eligible residents include:

  • Long-term care facility residents and staff;
  • Persons 65 years of age and older;
  • oPersons under 65 deemed medically vulnerable (form here);
  • Health care personnel with direct patient contact;
  • K-12 school employees 50 years of age and older;
  • Sworn law enforcement officers 50 years of age and older; and
  • Firefighters 50 years of age and older

Please note, at this time:

  • Vaccines for persons under 65 deemed medically vulnerable may only be administered by a physician, advanced practice registered nurse, or licensed pharmacist. Currently, the only sites with the staffing necessary are federal sites, not the sites available through MyVaccine.FL.gov.  Please visit FloridaDisaster.org/Vaccine and scroll to the drop down for "Federally Supported Vaccination Sites." 

  • K-12 school employees under 50 years old can only be vaccinated at federally supported vaccines sites. Please visit FloridaDisaster.org/Vaccine and scroll to the drop down for "Federally - Supported Vaccination Sites" and "Federal Retail Pharmacy Programs."    In additional Federally Retail Pharmacies can also vaccinate this group. These pharmacies include locally at: Publix and Winn-Dixie. Other pharmacies: Walmart, Sam's Club, Harvey's, Fresco y Mas, and CVS.

  • The closest Federally Supported Vaccination Site to Monroe County is Miami Dade Community College.

Residency Requirements

The vaccine is available to residents, part-time residents, and seasonal residents (such as “snowbirds”) who meet the residency requirements of the Public Health Advisory issued by the State Surgeon General on January 21, 2021. Seasonal resident means any person who temporarily resides in this state for a period of at least 31 consecutive days in each calendar year, maintains a temporary residence in this state, returns to the state or jurisdiction of his or her residence at least one time during each calendar year, and is registered to vote or pays income tax in another state or jurisdiction.

Vaccine providers will verify residency prior to administering the first dose of the vaccine. Residents of Florida may provide a copy of their Florida Driver’s License or an identification card issued by the State of Florida. Part time/seasonal residents who do not have a valid Florida Driver license or identification card may demonstrate proof of residency by providing copies of 2 of the following documents:

  • Deed/mortgage/residential lease or rental agreement.
  • Utility bill or utility hookup order, not more than 2 months old.
  • Mail from a financial institution (including account statements), not more than 2 months old.
  • Mail from a government agency, not more than 2 months old.
  • If the seasonal resident lives with a permanent resident, proof of residential address and a statement from the person with whom the seasonal resident resides stating that the seasonal resident does reside with them.

You can receive the vaccine in any county; you are not limited to your home county.

 

I am eligible to be vaccinated for COVID-19. Where can I sign up?

Pre-register with the State’s Sharecare system at myvaccine.fl.gov. Once pre-registered, you will be notified when appointments are available in your area. This website allows individuals who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine to be proactively contacted when vaccine appointments are available. If you do not have access to a computer, call the toll-free line for Monroe County at 866-201-7069 or for TTY (Text Telephone Relay) at 833-990-2908. For additional assistance, please call the helpline at 833-540-2081.

Vaccine supply remains limited and appointments may not be available for several weeks. Whether a resident calls by phone or visits myvaccine.fl.gov, their place in line will be reserved reliably using Sharecare software.

Other than pre-registering on Sharecare, residents are also directed to the following additional locations, independent of the Department of Health's operation:

  1. Publix www.publix.com/covidvaccine/florida
  2. Winn Dixie www.winndixie.com/pharmacy/covid-vaccine
  3. For additional locations outside of Monroe County,  visit the State's Vaccine Locator
  4. The following additional pharmacies outside of Monroe County are offering vaccine appointments. Visit their websites to register for an appointment. If appointments are not available, check back periodically.

 

I am a Veteran. Where can I sign up to receive a COVID-19 vaccine?

  • Monroe County Veterans can find information from the Miami Veterans Affairs Healthcare System and can apply to receive their VA healthcare eligibility status at the Monroe County Veterans Affairs Department: www.monroecounty-fl.gov/va

  • Miami Veterans Affairs Healthcare System is offering COVID-19 Vaccines to eligible Veterans in Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe Counties: www.miami.va.gov/services/covid-19-vaccines.asp

  • Homebound Veterans: Veterans of World War II and the Korean War who are unable to travel to receive a COVID-19 vaccine can receive one by calling (850) 487-1533, extension 9. They can also visit the Florida Department of Veteran’s Affairs to register.

Second Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine

  • Individuals who received their first dose of the Moderna vaccine at DOH-Monroe will get a call confirming their second dose appointment time and place.
  • DOH-Monroe only carries the Moderna vaccine, not the Pfizer vaccine. Those who are seeking Pfizer must contact a provider on the mainland.

For your safety, the safety of our staff, and clients, please do not come to any of the health department locations without an appointment for services, including COVID-19 vaccines. The vaccine will not be provided to anyone without an appointment. Personal contact information will not be collected on sight, by email, or by phone to be added to any lists.

 

More On Sharecare (MyVaccine.Fl.Gov)

  • Residents who have registered on Sharecare can update their information at the Vaccine Assistant at vaccine.healthsecurity.sharecare.com/vaccine.  By doing so, the resident stays in control of their contact information, and will get all communication from Sharecare going forward. Making any changes will not affect their place in line.  

  • Those who have registered and are waiting on a phone call for an appointment should answer unknown numbers. When answering, the phone system representative will announce themselves as “The Monroe County First Dose Scheduling Line.”

  • For those who have already been contacted to set up an appointment via Sharecare, they can check their appointment time at vaccine.sharecare.com/appt-lookup.

 

COVID-19 vaccines will help stop the pandemic.

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines in Florida.

 

 

Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines

  1. COVID-19 vaccines will not give you COVID-19
  2. COVID-19 vaccines will not cause you to test positive on COVID-19 viral test
  3. Receiving an mRNA vaccine will not alter your DNA
  4. Getting vaccinated can help prevent getting sick with COVID-19
  5. People who have gotten sick with COVID-19 may still benefit from getting vaccinated
  6. Severe reactions to COVID-19 vaccines from nearly 40,000 individuals were extremely rare (<5%)
  7. Symptoms following vaccines indicate your immune system is creating antibodies
  8. No patients died from receiving any vaccines in trials
  9. Not everyone who had COVID-19 develops antibodies, and if they do, it is known to only last three or four months

For more facts, visit the CDC’s website for Vaccine Information. This website is regularly updated. Please refer to it when questions arise.

Vaccine Information

Vaccines include weakened antigens that start a response within our bodies. Newer vaccines contain simply the blueprint for producing antigens in place of the antigen itself. In both instances, a vaccine will not cause the disease, but will prompt a response from the immune system.

Multiple doses of vaccines are needed to ensure long-lived antibodies are produced and that memory cells in the body are developed fully. From there, the body is trained to fight specific diseases causing organisms to rapidly fight when exposed in the future.

Vaccinating protects not just you, but also those in the community who are unable to be vaccinated. People with underlying health conditions that weaken their immune systems may not be able to get vaccinated with certain vaccines. These individuals can still be protected through “herd immunity” if they live in and among others who are vaccinated. The idea is that, when most people in a community are vaccinated, the pathogen has a hard time traveling because most of the people it encounters are immune. The more that others are vaccinated, the less of a chance people who are unable to be protected by vaccines are at risk of even being exposed to the harmful pathogens.

Visit the World Health Organization:

The World Health Organization is collaborating with scientists, businesses, and global health organizations to accelerate the response. While moving towards a safe and effective vaccine, we must continue the essential public health actions: “to suppress transmission and reduce mortality.”

Visit the CDC regarding additional vaccine information as well as current clinical trials.

All vaccines are monitored and evaluated to ensure an understanding of the vaccines, and ultimately the safety of the population. The following links explicitly outlines such processes:

Facts section developed by A. Wright