Residents 50 and older can now book COVID-19 vaccine appointments beginning Monday, March 22, the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County reported on March 19.
Governor Ron DeSantis expanded statewide eligibility to those over 50, which, according to the county, will make the vaccine available to about 150,000 more Pinellas residents between the ages of 50 and 59, based on the latest Census Bureau
Eligible residents are encouraged to create an account now at PatientPortalFL.com or by calling 844-770-8548 at any time, and they can then check for available appointments starting next week.
According to the county, Publix, CVS, Winn Dixie, Walmart, and Sam’s Club pharmacies also offer vaccines to the newly eligible groups, in addition to K-12 teachers of any age. Residents should check each of the pharmacy chain websites for more information. Primary school teachers under 50 can also receive their vaccine at the federally supported, state-run site at
the Tampa Greyhound Track.
Other eligible groups include health care personnel of any age who have direct contract with the public, as well as medically vulnerable residents with a physician-completed form available here.
Residents are required to present identification and proof of eligibility at all appointments.
The Florida Department of Emergency Management is also running a walk-up vaccination site at The Centre at Palm Harbor (1500 16th St., Palm Harbor) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until at least March 27. According to the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas, there will be new first dose appointments each week at three sites as they receive additional shipments.
According to the FDOH, more than 220,000 people have received one or both doses of the vaccine in Pinellas County. For the latest information on vaccine availability countywide, visit covid19.pinellascounty.org/vaccines.
Pinellas residents who need transportation to a vaccine site have several options:
PSTA currently offers free bus service to several drop-off locations near vaccine sites within Pinellas County. Visit psta.net/riding-psta/psta-coronavirus-response for the closest route. Note that PSTA buses are limited to 15 passengers plus two mobility device passengers to allow for social distancing. Masks are required for all PSTA riders.
Neighborly offers free rides to adults 60 and over for medical appointments, including vaccines. Visit neighborly.org/transportation to register, or call 727-573-9444. Note that the medical appointment must be within 10 miles of your home, and you must book a ride at least two days in advance, or a week in advance if you require wheelchair assistance. Rides are available from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
The Area Agency on Aging helps Pinellas seniors find free or low-cost local transportation via their Helpline at 1-800-963-5337.
Residents with Medicaid, can also get a free ride to and from vaccine appointments. Once the shot is scheduled, residents should call their health plan provider to get the name and phone number for the transportation service. Call the Medicaid help line at 1-877-254-1055 for more information. Residents should schedule their ride at least three business days before your