The Palm Beach Post | by Jennifer Sangalang | May 6, 2021
FDA expected to modify emergency use authorization for Pfizer vaccine to allow young teens to get the shot.
- Initial trials of the COVID-19 vaccines were conducted only in adults
- Moderna is testing its vaccine in adolescents and younger children
Young people between 12 and 15 years old may soon be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said vaccines for 12- to 15-year-olds likely will be approved by the Food and Drug Administration in “days.” The vaccines have been authorized for use only in adults and older teens. The FDA authorization would allow the Pfizer-BioNTech shots to be given to 12- to 15-year-olds for the first time, once the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also signs off.
With Biden’s ramp-up announcement and this news, people are searching how to get kids vaccinated and what it means for Floridians. Here are things to know about getting an appointment and what vaccines are available. Please note, this file may be updated with more information.
Who is eligible to get the COVID vaccine?
As of May 6, all Florida residents and persons providing goods and services to Floridians ages 16 and up are eligible to receive any COVID-19 vaccine as prescribed by the Food and Drug Administration.
Note, the Pfizer vaccine is authorized for people ages 16 and up, while the Moderna and Janssen (Johnson and Johnson) vaccines are authorized for people 18 and up. All individuals under the age of 18 receiving a vaccine must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and complete the COVID-19 vaccine screening and consent form.
Others eligible to get the vaccine:
• kindergarten through 12th-grade school employees age 50 and older
• people determined to be extremely vulnerable by a physician
• health care workers with direct patient contact (complete list below)
• long-term care facility residents and staff
Many have already gotten vaccinated because they are in law enforcement, education, fire protection and emergency services, including:
kindergarten through 12th-grade school employees age 50 and older
• law enforcement officers age 50 and older
• firefighters age 50 and older
Health care personnel with direct patient contact includes but are not limited to:
• emergency medical service personnel
• nurses and nursing assistants
• home health providers
• dentists, dental hygienists and dental assistants
• students and trainees
• contractual staff
• dietary and food services staff
• environmental services staff
• administrative staff
How much is the COVID vaccine?
No charge. Vaccines are free at all locations.
Do I need to be a Florida resident?
The Florida Department of Health site reports State Surgeon General Scott Rivkees’ April 29 public health advisory that directs vaccines be provided for residents or those who provide goods and services for the benefit of residents and visitors.
To prove residency, an adult resident must provide a copy of a Florida driver’s license or valid Florida identification card.
Seasonal residents may provide a copy of two of the following to show proof of address:
• deed, mortgage, monthly mortgage statement, mortgage payment booklet or residential rental or lease agreement
• proof of residential address from the season resident’s parent, stepparent or legal guardian or other person with whom the seasonal resident lives and a statement from the person with whom the seasonal resident resides stating that the seasonal resident does reside with him or her
• utility hookup or work order dated within 60 days before registration
• utility bill, not more than 2 months old
• mail from a financial institution, including checking, savings or investment account statements, not more than 2 months old
• mail from a federal, state, county or municipal government agency, not more than 2 months old
Where are vaccines available?
According to the Florida Department of Health, there are more than 800 retail pharmacies here scheduling vaccine appointments for eligible individuals. These include Publix pharmacy locations, CVS pharmacy locations, Walgreens, Winn-Dixie locations, Walmart and Sam’s Club.
Hospitals and county health departments also are administering shots to health care workers with direct patient contact, health care workers in their communities and others eligible for the vaccine.
Where will vaccines be available for children?
Other than the pharmacies, hospitals and county health departments mentioned above, as of May 6, that information was not available. Check back for updates to this question.
How do I sign up?
Supplies are limited, and appointments may be required. Designated websites for each location include:
• Publix, publix.com/covid-vaccine/florida
• Sam’s Club, samsclub.com/covid
• Walmart, walmart.com/COVIDvaccine
• Winn-Dixie, winndixie.com/pharmacy/covid-vaccine
• Walgreens, walgreens.com/findcare/vaccination/covid-19
What vaccines are available?
According to FDOH, these COVID-19 vaccines have received emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration:
• Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use in persons 16 years of age and older.
• Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for use in persons 18 years of age and older.
• Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine for use in persons 18 years and older.
Which vaccine should I get?
Experts say don’t wait, get whichever vaccine is available. However, this USA TODAY story does outline the vaccine differences.
What’s the difference between the vaccines?
Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses and are somewhat more effective, according to a story by USA TODAY. Johnson & Johnson is a single shot vaccine and is somewhat less likely to cause side effects, the story states.
Are there side effects?
All three COVID-19 vaccines being used in the U.S. can cause short-term side effects in some people such as pain in the injection site, fatigue, headache, muscle and joint pain, the USA TODAY story says.
How many Florida residents have been vaccinated so far?
According to the CDC’s COVID-19 vaccine tracker online, as of May 5, the site lists
14,981,650 total doses administered in Florida. That breaks down to 9,037,042 total people vaccinated with 2,503,976 receiving the first dose, and 6,533,066 completing the series.
Does getting a vaccine mean I can stop wearing a face mask?
No. Everyone, including those who have received both doses of vaccine, should continue to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations on wearing face coverings, social distancing and practicing good hand hygiene.
Where to get more information
You can get FDOH updates via social media:
• @HealthyFla on Twitter
To educate yourself about the vaccines, visit floridadisaster.org/vaccine.
To pre-register for vaccines at state-supported sites in your area, visit https://myvaccine.fl.gov/#/.
For more information, a COVID-19 call center is available 24/7 by phone at 866-779-6121, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or online at https://floridahealthcovid19.gov.
Contributing: Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY
Image: Screenshot of USA TODAY video posted in this article.