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County-by-county COVID-19 vaccine information for Tampa Bay seniors

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order to ensure senior citizens are the top priority when it comes to receiving vaccine doses.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — As COVID-19 vaccine shipments continue to make their way to the Tampa Bay area, different counties are releasing plans to make sure high-priority groups get vaccinated.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' executive order states Phase 1 priority groups are frontline health care workers and people who work or live at a long-term care facility. 

People who are 65 and older are also eligible to receive vaccinations.

RELATED: Your COVID-19 vaccine questions, answered: Do I need to be a Florida resident?

Here is a county-by-county look at vaccination plans for people 65 and older: 

Citrus County

The county has reached capacity for its COVID-19 vaccine distribution at Central Ridge District Park, located at 6905 N. Lecanto Highway in Beverly Hills.

Officials are asking seniors in the area to stay tuned for more clinic dates to be announced.

Four Publix stores in the county are offering the vaccine, and people are encouraged to check the site daily for available appointments.

Hernando County 

The Florida Department of Health in Hernando County has closed appointments for people 65 and older to get the COVID-19 vaccine due to reaching capacity.

At this time, further appointments are not being made, though should availability resume, the department will contact people in the order in which requests are received. To make an appointment and secure a spot call (352) 540-6800.

Select Publix stores in the county are offering the vaccine, and people are encouraged to check the site daily for available appointments.

Highlands County

Highlands County has begun vaccinating those 65 and older through a single "point of distribution" at Lakeshore Mall, 901 U.S. 27 North, in Sebring.

Vaccines will be administered through appointments only and the amount available will depend on the number of doses received. Appointments can only be made online.

You can call its public hotline at 863-402-6780 with any questions.

Hillsborough County

The county, in partnership with the Department of Health, began vaccinating residents 65+ on Wednesday, Jan. 6.

On Wednesday, Jan. 13, the county began administering the second round of vaccines for residents 65 and older at three different distribution sites. The county has allocated 9,000 doses of the vaccine to be distributed through Friday, Jan. 15. 

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

As of last week, Hillsborough County says all appointments have been filled.

The county says it's working with the state to identify potential locations for a state-run vaccination site for residents 65 or older. Residents are urged to visit the Hillsborough County website for any new information on vaccination sites.

When more appointments become available, they can be scheduled online by CDR HealthPro portal and by phone. For anyone without access to the Internet, appointments can be made by calling -850-848-5287. 

People who are 65 and older can only make their appointments during the designated timeframe specific to their age group. 

  • Residents age 85 and older can book an appointment between 8-10 a.m. 
  • Residents age 75 to 84 can book an appointment between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. 
  • Residents age 65 to 74 can book an appointment between 2-4 p.m. 
  • After 5 p.m., any resident age 65 and older can book any remaining slots while appointments are available.

Meanwhile, Tampa General Medical Group is beginning to administer the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to patients ages 65 and over and people with severe co-morbid conditions that make them more vulnerable.

To be eligible for that, individuals must be patients of Tampa General Medical Group. People meeting the age or comorbidity requirements should register first, then try to book an appointment here.

Manatee County 

County Commissioners have opened a "COVID-19 standby pool" for those 65 and older looking to be vaccinated. 

To join the waiting list for a vaccine, seniors can visit vax.mymanatee.org. Those who prefer to sign up over the phone can call 311 on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. The county says there is no deadline to join the pool.

According to the county, not everyone will get an appointment on the first try, but your name will remain in the pool for future shipments. Once those arrive names will be picked at random to fill upcoming appointments.

Pasco County

The county is hosting four vaccination clinics the week of Jan. 18 for those still needing to be inoculated.

Registration opened at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 17, the county says. Seniors looking to secure a spot will need to visit the county's patient portal or call 844-770-8548 to create an account. 

Here is what is being made available: 

  • 400 appointments (per day) on Jan. 19 and Jan. 21 from 2-4:30 p.m. at Sears Auto Center in the Gulfview Square Mall
  • 500 appointments (per day) on Jan. 20 and Jan. 22 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Saint Leo University

A photo I.D. is required when checking in for vaccination appointments. Seniors who registered online are also asked to bring a printed or digital copy of their confirmation email. 

Pinellas County 

The Department of Health in Pinellas County began vaccinating seniors who are 65 and older on Jan. 5. 

On Jan. 15, the county rolled out a new vaccine registration process aimed at expediting vaccine distribution. Residents can visit the patient portal to create an account to be notified of when a new shipment becomes available. The county says appointments for its new shipment of 10,000 doses from the state are already full. 

The county asks for patience as it will take "at least several weeks" to vaccinate over 250,000 people age 65 and over in the county.

Starting Jan. 19, the county says fire paramedic crews will operate four new public vaccination sites. The county did not release the locations of those sites to discourage people who haven't pre-registered to try to get vaccinated.

Polk County

The Florida Department of Health in Polk County is keeping phone lines open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday for seniors interested in being placed on a COVID-19 vaccine registration waiting list.

To get a spot, you'll need to call 863-298-7500 to talk with a staff member who can register you for future vaccination appointments.

Sarasota County

The Sarasota Department of Health is continuing to vaccinate seniors, but all vaccine appointments are currently full. Though, leaders say additional ones will become available on Jan. 21 and 22.

The county is set to receive 3,300 doses for future immunization events for the county. Upcoming vaccinations will be distributed through drive-thru clinics at Twin Lakes Park.

On Wednesday, a new registration site went live. Seniors can now register online on the county's website. A support call center was also launched, open Wednesday from noon to 7 p.m. and then Monday - Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. If you need assistance, call 941-861-VAXS or 941-861-8297. 

A new registration website will be released and go live on Tuesday, according to health officials. More information will be provided at that time.

Right now, there have not been any detailed plans released by health department officials in DeSoto and Hardee counties. This story will be updated to reflect those counties' vaccination plans when we get them. 

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