COVID vaccine live updates: What you should know in South Florida on Wednesday, March 3

Howard Cohen
·11 min read

COVID-19 vaccines are now available in South Florida, and the rules on who can get a shot, where and when can be confusing.

Here’s what you need to know:

What’s new today?

On the first day Baptist Health began administering the COVID-19 vaccination, lines formed at the site on the Hilton grounds on the hospital’s Kendall campus on Jan. 11, 2021.
On the first day Baptist Health began administering the COVID-19 vaccination, lines formed at the site on the Hilton grounds on the hospital’s Kendall campus on Jan. 11, 2021.

Florida K-12 teachers, police officers and firefighters — all must be 50 and older— can schedule a COVID-19 vaccine at Walmart after new order from Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Doctors will decide who in Florida has an at risk medical condition that makes them eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday. People under 65 with a high-risk medical condition will need a physician to sign an eligibility form before they can get vaccinated at a Florida doctor’s office or pharmacy. Florida’s Department of Health released a link to the one-page form and it can be downloaded at floridahealthcovid19.gov.

South Florida’s first federal mass vaccination site opened Wednesday morning, prepared to administer 3,000 doses a day in tents at Miami Dade College’s north campus at Northwest 113th Street and 27th Avenue near Opa-locka. The location is one of four federal mass vaccination sites that opened across the state early Wednesday, including ones in Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville.

Baptist Health South Florida plans to resume vaccinations — but only for those who already had a canceled first dose appointment from January. Baptist’s offer is only for the individual named in the original appointment booking record. This detail this can’t be changed, edited or transferred to another person.

Florida teachers and school staff can now book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment at all Navarro Discount Pharmacies and CVS y mas stores in Miami-Dade. But there seems to be some confusion on who is eligible. Under Florida guidelines, only K-12 school personnel ages 50 and older are eligible for the vaccine. Daycare and preschool workers are not. But Miami-Dade County Public School teachers on Wednesday said on social media that CVS would book vaccination appointments for K-12 teachers, daycare and preschool workers and staff members, regardless of age or medical condition.

Walgreens will soon offer the coronavirus vaccine in Pasco County, Gov. Ron DeSantis said at a news briefing Wednesday in Zephyrhills, The Tampa Bay Times reported. The Walgreens are at 12028 Majestic Blvd. in Hudson and 6429 Gall Blvd. in Zephyrhills. Walgreens in South Florida were not mentioned and are currently not listed on the pharmacy’s Walgreens.com webpage, which, on Thursday, is where appointments can be made for the first stores in Pasco that are coming on board.

Florida COVID update for Wednesday: Miami positivity rate doubles in a day to top 10%

Who can get COVID-19 vaccines in Florida and who cannot? Do you need proof of residency?

Florida is giving vaccines to healthcare workers, long-term care facility residents and staff and people 65 and older. Sworn law enforcement, firefighters and K-12 school personnel ages 50 and older are also eligible for the vaccine. Hospitals, doctor offices and pharmacies can also choose to give the vaccine to people under 65 with health conditions that make them “at risk” of falling seriously ill with the disease.

Only Florida residents and snowbirds can get the vaccine but there is no county residency requirement in place. This means if you live in Miami-Dade, you can get the vaccine in Broward or vice versa. You will need to show proof of Florida residency.

For snowbirds or part-time residents, the proof needs to be in the form of two documents like a lease agreement and a utility bill no more than two months old, according to the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

The Department of Health and Human Services declined a request by state lawmakers to increase the state’s allocation to account for the thousands of visitors who flock to Florida for the winter.

Anyone else who lives in another state or country can no longer get the vaccine in Florida. Non-residents who have already received the vaccine in Florida will still be able to get the second dose.

The change was made to curb vaccine tourism, or people who travel from another state or country to get the vaccine in Miami or another part of the state.

Who should not get a COVID-19 vaccine?

People who have had a severe allergic reaction to ingredients in the vaccine or had a severe reaction after a previous dose. Ingredients of the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna vaccines can be found on FDA.gov.

How many people have received the COVID-19 vaccine in Florida?

According to the state’s Wednesday COVID-19 vaccine report, 1,773,638 have completed the two-dose vaccination series of either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, and 1,400,524 have received the first dose.

Of those who completed the two-dose vaccination, 191,200 were Miami-Dade residents, 158,340 were Broward residents, 166,033 were Palm Beach residents and 6,973 were Monroe residents.

What COVID-19 vaccines are available in Florida? How many doses do I need?

Florida has two vaccines available: Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine requires two shots, three weeks apart, and can be given to people 16 and older. Moderna’s vaccine requires two shots, one month apart, and can be given to people 18 and older. Neither vaccine will give you COVID-19.

The two vaccines are not interchangeable, however, which means that if your first shot was the Pfizer vaccine, your second shot cannot be the Moderna vaccine, according to the CDC.

Florida is also hoping to receive its first shipment this week of the Johnson and Johnson’s single-dose vaccine, which received emergency use authorization during the weekend by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

COVID-19 vaccination sites in South Florida?

Pharmacies:

The following pharmacies offer COVID-19 vaccines in select stores by appointment-only:

All Publix stores in Florida offer vaccines. For appointments, visit publix.com/covid-vaccine/florida.

All Navarro Discount Pharmacies and CVS y más stores in Miami-Dade. Some traditional CVS stores across Florida also have doses. To check for availability, visit CVS.com or call customer service at 800-746-7287.

A few Winn-Dixie stores in the Keys and Miami-Dade have vaccines. One Fresco y Más store in Miami-Dade also have doses. For Winn-Dixie, visit winndixie.com/pharmacy/covid-vaccine. For Fresco y Mas, visit frescoymas.com/pharmacy/covid-vaccine.

Some Walmart and Sam’s Club stores offer vaccines, including in Broward and Miami-Dade counties. To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment at Walmart, visit walmart.com/COVIDvaccine. For Sam’s Clubs, visit samsclub.com/covid.

Walgreens still doesn’t have vaccines in stock in South Florida but will open two locations in Pasco on Thursday.

State-run sites in Miami-Dade and Broward counties

Seniors 65 and older and people with health conditions that make them extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 can now “save their place in line” by pre-registering for the vaccine in Florida through a new website and phone system.

Healthcare workers with direct patient contact and long-term care residents and staff can also pre-register for the COVID-19 vaccine.

The new website is myvaccine.fl.gov. You can also pre-register by phone. To find the designated number for your county, visit floridahealthcovid19.gov.

Anyone who pre-registers for a vaccine appointment will be notified when slots become available at state-supported vaccination sites in their county, according to the Florida Division of Emergency Management, which is tasked with the state’s vaccine distribution. Once you get an appointment, you will need to show proof that you are a Florida resident.

State-run sites in Miami-Dade County include Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens and Marlins Park in Miami. Also recently added: a parking lot-turned-vaccine-site, 1551 NW First Ave., near Miami’s Overtown area; Oak Grove Park community center, 690 NE 159th St.; and Broward College’s Coconut Creek campus. Appointments can also be scheduled online or by phone for Miami Dade College’s North campus, which will be turning into the area’s first federal “mass vaccination” site next month.

State-run sites in Broward County include Snyder Park in Fort Lauderdale, Coral Square Mall in Coral Springs, Markham Park in Sunrise, Tree Tops Park in Davie, Trade Winds Park in Coconut Creek and Central Regional Park in Lauderhill.

Florida residents who do not meet the priority criteria can also sign up to receive email updates to learn when they will be eligible to receive the vaccine.

Hospitals and other COVID-19 vaccination sites in Miami-Dade, Broward

Miami-Dade County:

The county has a website, miamidade.gov/vaccine, where it posts updates on where seniors, and eventually the rest of the general public, will be able to find and schedule COVID-19 vaccination appointments.

Seniors 65 and older and healthcare workers with direct patient contact can also sign up for an online wait list to be notified when appointments are available at county-run sites including Zoo Miami, Miami Dade College North Campus and Tropical Park. You can also call 305-614-2014 to pre-register.

Florida residents who don’t qualify for the vaccine yet can also sign up through the website to be given updates on the county’s vaccination process.

Here are other places that have vaccines:

Jackson Health System, the county’s public hospital network, has launched an online portal for people 65 and older and people 55 to 64 with one of 13 medical conditions to schedule vaccine appointments. To check for available appointments, visit https://jhsmiami.org/comvac/.

Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach is no longer booking appointments and has canceled all first-dose appointments for Jan. 23 and later because of supply constraints. Second-dose appointments are not affected. To check for updates, visit msmc.com/coronavirus-update/

Baptist Health, one of the county’s largest private hospitals, is no longer booking appointments and has canceled all first-dose appointments from Jan. 20 and beyond because of supply constraints. Second dose appointments are not affected. To check for updates, visit Baptisthealth.net/vaccine.

Seniors 65 and older who seek care with Leon Medical Centers can call customer service at 305-642-5366 to schedule a free COVID-19 vaccination appointment. If you need transportation, let the operator know so they can also schedule a driver to pick you up. Appointments will be scheduled until Leon runs out of vaccines.

Broward County:

Walmart drive-thru vaccination clinic at 3001 N. State Road 7 in Lauderdale Lakes. Call 833-886-0023 to check for availability.

Holy Cross Health in Fort Lauderdale is offering COVID-19 vaccines to people under 65 who have certain medical conditions that make them at risk for severe COVID complications. Priority will be given to Holy Cross Medical Group patients, the hospital said. For details on how to request an appointment, visit www.holy-cross.com/covidvaccine.

Broward Health, the hospital network, is offering appointments to seniors 65 and older, healthcare workers, emergency medical service providers and people 18 and older with certain at risk conditions. All of its slots are full for now. To check for appointments, visit https://www.browardhealth.org/pages/being-healthy-vaccine

Fort Lauderdale’s Inter Miami CF Stadium is now a COVID-19 vaccination site. Seniors 65 and older, office staff of Broward Health-credentialed physicians and other healthcare providers and their office staff can request an appointment online at BrowardHealth.org and a Broward Health scheduler will then respond to finish the appointment booking.

Memorial Healthcare System ran out of COVID-19 vaccines again. Once doses are available again, appointments can be made through the MyChart portal, https://mychart.mhs.net for current Memorial Healthcare patients. Others will have to call 954-276-4340.

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The appointment-only vaccine locations listed in the website above are:

The Memorial Regional Conference Center, 3501 Johnson St. in Hollywood, noon to 7:30 p.m. Mondays, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday through Friday.

Memorial Specialty Pharmacy, 9581 Premier Pkwy. in Miramar, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

All Cleveland Clinic Florida locations, including its Weston campus, have run out of vaccination appointments for now. Cleveland Clinic said it will resume scheduling appointments through its website for current patients once it gets more doses. To check for slots, visit https://my.clevelandclinic.org/landing/covid-19-vaccine/florida

COVID-19 vaccines in Monroe County?

More places are offering the COVID-19 vaccine in the Florida Keys.

Eligible Florida residents can now get vaccinated at Winn-Dixie stores in Key West and Tavernier, and at all Publix stores along the island chain. Appointments are required.

For Winn-Dixie, check https://www.winndixie.com/pharmacy/covid-vaccine. For Publix, check https://www.publix.com/covid-vaccine/florida.