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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: What you should and shouldn't do after getting your COVID-19 vaccine

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.

People who received their first dose on Jan. 5, 7 and 9 will receive an appointment postcard to get their second dose.

Some 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 re-opened appointments for people 65 and older to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The county's patient portal went live at 10 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 22, for seniors to schedule an appointment for one of the 1,500 available doses.

Here are the available dates: 

  • Jan. 25-29: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Florida Department of Health in Hernando County (7551 Forest Oaks Blvd, Spring Hill, FL 34606)
  • Jan. 26 and 27: 9 a.m to 3 p.m. at the Hernando County Fairgrounds (6436 Broad St., Brooksville, FL. 34601)

New appointments for the fairgrounds location go live at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 26. People are advised not to show up to the fairgrounds without an appointment and for those who have one, show up at your scheduled time.

Those without internet access can call 844-770-8548 to make an appointment.

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.

The county has created a waitlist that you can join by filling out an online form. Once on the waitlist, you will be contacted when a vaccine becomes available.

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

Hillsborough County

As appointments become available, those in need can head online to the CDR HealthPro portal or call 850-848-5287 to grab a slot.

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, a state-supported vaccination site is heading to the county at the University Mall, 2200 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa, FL 33612. The state says the site will be open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will offer shots to 65+ seniors and frontline health care workers.

To make an appointment, you are asked to call 1-866-200-3896 or TTY 1-833-476-1029.

Those who received the first dose Jan. 6-9 or Jan. 13-15 will be able to return to the same vaccination site for the second dose. These individuals will be contacted in the coming days to confirm their appointments.

People returning for the second dose will have to bring a photo ID with their name and date of birth as well as the COVID-19 vaccine record card that was issued during the first injection.

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.

Manatee County Department of Health has already selected names off of the waiting list to be vaccinated Jan. 21-22. The county asks that you do not call 311 to ask if you've been selected. Instead look for a call from (941) 742-4300 and a friendly 311 caller will book an appointment for you. 

Starting Jan. 20. seniors who were vaccinated between Dec. 30 and Jan. 1 will receive a call confirming their second appointment from 941-742-4300 or a text from 88911. Their second dose appointments will be booked for Jan. 26 at Bennett Park, 400 Cypress Creek Boulevard.

Pasco County

The county is hosting three vaccination clinics the week of Jan. 25 for those still needing to be inoculated.

Registration opened at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 24, the county said. 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: 

  • 700 appointments (per day) on Jan. 25, 27 and 29 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Saint Leo University

A photo I.D. and proof of residency are 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. 

Jan. 25 update: 8,000 appointments that were announced for Saturday have been claimed. The registration site suffered an outage before returning online.

RELATED: Pinellas County: COVID-19 vaccine registration site suffers outage

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.

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.

You can also create an account on the registration portal to upload your information for a future appointment and learn more about the vaccine.

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. 

On Jan. 27, the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota announced it's moving its vaccine clinic location to Sarasota Square Mall. The health department says the new site is centrally located to serve all of Sarasota County residents. You can get more information here.

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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