According to Pinellas County officials, “more than 50% of all Pinellas County residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, contributing to low positive cases at the start of the summer travel season.”
Going into the third week of June, 492,878 Pinellas residents had received the vaccine, according to data from the Florida Department of Health.
Compared to the rest of the state, officials say that Pinellas has also maintained a significantly lower rate of new positive cases, at 2.7% (compared to Florida’s 3.3% average over a seven-day period).
COVID-19 vaccines are available completely free of charge no matter where you get it, say county officials, including at most large pharmacies and through other health care providers, including the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas. Call ahead, however, as some sites may require an appointment.
The county warns that this does not mean Pinellas is out of the woods, pandemic-wise, as more people must be vaccinated. There are also more contagious and deadly strains of the disease appearing in the state.
“With the emergence of a highly contagious COVID-19 delta variant, it is even more important to get vaccinated,” said Dr. Ulyee Choe, Director of the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County.
Getting the COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to eliminate the risk of deadly illness and continue to stop the spread of the pandemic, according to health experts. Anyone who has not yet received the vaccine is encouraged to talk to their doctor or care provider.
DOH-Pinellas will host summer vaccine clinics in the next two months for eligible children and their families. Find a list of locations in Pinellas here.
If you haven’t yet gotten your vaccine due to childcare or transportation limitations, click here for a list of helpful resources. That site also lists dozens of companies offering incentives to residents who get their vaccine.
Anyone 12 and older is eligible to receive the two-dose Pfizer vaccine. Adults may also get approved vaccines from Moderna or Johnson & Johnson.
Since the vaccine became available to local nursing homes and long-term care facilities in December, the weekly rate of COVID-19 deaths has dropped dramatically in Pinellas County, say officials.
To date, the virus has claimed the lives of more than 37,555 people in Florida. The FDOH releases updated case and vaccine statistics weekly here.