Millions more in Florida now eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Florida is relaxing age restrictions regarding the COVID-19 vaccine beginning Monday, with residents ages 50 and up now eligible to receive the vaccine.

Those receiving vaccines at state-run sites simply need to bring a valid government ID to prove their age.

Changing the cutoff age allows millions more to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

“I think the vaccine should be available for everybody, given that there is a pandemic, right? And if we’re all vaccinated, I think it would be great for the community,” said L.J. Ricardo, whose parents were getting the vaccine Monday at Hard Rock Stadium.

City of Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez announced that those 50 and older will also now be able to receive the vaccine at its location at Bucky Dent Park at 2250 W. 60th St.

A total of 400 vaccines will be available daily beginning at 8:30 a.m., and vaccines are being administered there on a first come, first served basis.

Miami-Dade County, meanwhile, is going one step further than the state.

Mayor Daniella Levine Cava tweeted last week that she’ll lower the age of eligibility to 40 plus on March 29, and then lower it again by another 10 years each week after that.

Individuals do not need to live in Miami-Dade to receive the vaccine there, but they must be a resident of Florida. Also, those wishing to visit these county-run sites must pre-register through the county’s appointment portal to receive a vaccine.

Broward County Mayor Steve Geller said he won’t offer eligibility to those 40 and up next week, but he doesn’t think it will be very long before Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis decides to step down the statewide age requirement.

“I think that within two or three weeks, we probably will be down to age 40,” Geller said.

The Jackson Health System announced Monday that effective immediately, the following age groups are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine:

  • Those 50 and older
  • Those 18 or older, who can attest that their physician recommended they receive the vaccine due to a high-risk condition (no documentation needed)
  • Those 16 and 17, who can attest that their physician recommended they receive the vaccine due to a high-risk condition (no documentation needed and parent or legal guardian must be present to provide consent)

Vaccination sites across South Florida, meanwhile, are gearing up for a busy day.

The popular Johnson & Johnson vaccine is available at the Joe Celestin Center in North Miami Monday from 10 a.m. yo 7 p.m. or until supplies last.

Walk-ups are accepted.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said he expects to allow all Floridians to be able to get the vaccine well before President Joe Biden’s deadline of May 1.

“I think we will definitely be opening up it up to everybody, certainly before May 1, and maybe much sooner than that,” he said last week.

At last check, 23.8 percent of Florida’s population has received at least one dose and 13.3% have been fully vaccinated, according to the New York Times’ vaccine rollout tracker.

At the FEMA-supported vaccination site at Miami-Dade College’s North Campus, state planners have decided to extend first dose administration until April 7, but starting Wednesday, it will drop from 3,000 daily doses to 500 as they continue to work on giving out second doses.

As for the FEMA-supported satellite sites, they will close to first dose administration on Tuesday as they rotate back through the communities that hosted them for second dose administration.

“You will need your CDC vaccination card and an ID for the second dose,” said Mike Jachels with FEMA. “That is a must.”

Related links:

Who is eligible for COVID-19 vaccine in Florida?

List of cases by city in South Florida

Find a COVID-19 testing site near you

Hospital bed capacity and availability

Coronavirus cases in Florida schools

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