At long last, the day has arrived: One year, one month, and four days after the first coronavirus case was reported in Florida, the COVID-19 vaccine is available for all state residents age 16 and older.
Starting today, those residents can begin to make appointments or try their luck at a first-come, first-serve site, regardless of their medical history or occupation. Previously, the shots were only available to residents over 40, people with high-risk health conditions, and workers in certain occupations, like education or policing.
If you're new to all of this, there are a few things to know upfront.
First, you're not limited to vaccine sites in your city or county — Florida residents can snag an appointment at any vaccination site in the state. The Pfizer shot is available to teens as young as 16; for the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines, you must be at least 18. You probably already know, but the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two shots a few weeks apart, while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is administered in a single dose.
There are a few different ways you can try to get a vaccine. Most of the major pharmacy chains are now carrying the vaccine in Florida, including Publix, Walmart, CVS, Sam's Club, Walgreens, and Winn-Dixie. Each has its own booking platform and method for releasing appointment times. A recent thread on the Miami subreddit has some tips for how and when to try to snag an appointment.
You can also try booking an appointment through Jackson Health, Miami-Dade's publicly funded hospital system. Jackson is administering the Pfizer vaccine.
The hospital releases new appointments in the evenings, typically between 6 and 9 p.m., and makes an announcement on its Twitter and Instagram accounts shortly beforehand. You can change your settings on Twitter and Instagram to be notified any time Jackson posts.
Good morning Linda, we recommend turning on our post notifications to receive alerts whenever we post. You can do this by tapping the bell icon on our page. Thank you.— Jackson Health System (@JacksonHealth) March 31, 2021
If the idea of trying to snag an appointment online sounds like a competition you'd rather avoid, there are several first-come, first-serve vaccination sites around South Florida that don't require an appointment. Among those sites are:
Central Miami-Dade: Miami Dade College North Campus, 11380 NW 27th Ave. Open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., or until supplies run out. The site offers the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Coconut Creek: Broward College North Campus, 1000 Coconut Creek Blvd. Open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., or until supplies run out. The site offers the Moderna vaccine.
- Hialeah: Bucky Dent Park, 2250 W. 60th St. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or until supplies run out. The site offers the Pfizer vaccine.
- Miami Gardens: Hard Rock Stadium, 347 Don Shula Dr. Open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. The site offers the Pfizer vaccine.
Miramar: Vizcaya Park, 14200 SW 49th St. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or until supplies run out. The site offers the Pfizer vaccine.
- North Miami: Oak Grove Park community center, 690 NE 159th St. Open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., or until supplies run out. The site offers the Moderna vaccine.
Opa-locka: Helen Miller Center, 2331 NW 143th St. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or until supplies run out. The site offers the Pfizer vaccine.
Overtown: Overtown Youth Center, 1551 NW First Ave. Open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., or until supplies run out. The site offers the Moderna vaccine.
As is evident above, most sites are offering the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines; as of now, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine remains a bit harder to get in Florida. (The Miami Herald's Ben Conarck and Michelle Marchante have been diligently reporting on those shortages, if you'd like to know more.)
So there you have it — that's the short version of what you need to know to get your COVID vaccine in Florida. May the odds be ever in your favor.
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