NewsLocal NewsCoronavirus


Florida residents 50 and older now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine

A medical professional prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.jpg
Posted at 6:26 AM, Mar 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-22 16:17:20-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida residents who are 50 and older, regardless of occupation, can get the COVID-19 vaccine starting today.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the new age requirement last week. The 10-year age drop comes just one week after he lowered the age of eligibility from 65 to 60.

This coincided with a Publix appointment booking window, which opened at 7 a.m. Monday for residents to make appointments to receive the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

Publix will continue to prioritize all educators as part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program directive.

Publix will book appointments for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Wednesday. The governor announced Florida would receive 42,000 doses of Johnson and Johnson this week, which is much less than the previous shipment.

Due to supply issues, there are no other scheduled shipments of the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine to Florida, but the governor hopes that will change soon.

DeSantis said he plans to make the vaccine available to all adults before May 1 in accordance with President Joe Biden's directive to governors.

"It certainly feels good to have the first shot under my belt," said Teresa Lane.

Lane was part of the vaccine rush early in the year when she got her husband, who is 65 and up, a COVID-19 vaccine appointment.

"Once we got him vaccinated, I kind of just quit even watching the news that much because I knew my turn would eventually come," Lane said.

With 70% of seniors vaccinated in Florida, DeSantis said lowering the age of eligibility makes sense.

"People are able to get appointments online much easier now than when the first crush started end of December," DeSantis said last Friday.

Lane said just in time for summer, it moves up her timeline of going on vacations again.

"We're going to fly somewhere on vacation. We obviously haven’t flown anywhere. We’re going to fly somewhere and see some relatives that we haven’t seen," Lane said.

In addition to Publix, COVID-19 vaccine appointments can be scheduled at select Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, and Winn-Dixie locations.

The Health Care District of Palm Beach County is also accepting appointment requests for those 50 and older. Click here for more information and to sign up.