COVID-19 vaccine eligibility in Florida opens to all adults

All Florida residents 18 and older are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

In addition, those 16 and older can receive the Pfizer vaccine. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson have not been approved for minors yet.

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Vaccine doses are available at vaccination sites and pharmacies across the state.

Depending on where you go, you will be offered one of the following vaccines: a two-dose Pfizer vaccine with 21 days between shots, a two-dose Moderna vaccine with 28 days between shots and a one-dose of Johnson & Johnson. All have received emergency-use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

For example, Publix offers Moderna to those who register on Monday and Friday, while Johnson & Johnson is given to those who register for a vaccine on Wednesday.

The Florida Department of Emergency of Management announced Friday that the four federally-supported vaccination sites in the state will transition to the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine starting Tuesday. That means that after Monday, the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine will no longer be offered there.

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Then, state vaccination sites, like the one at the Orange County Convention Center, still offer the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. They opened their portal for the first time to everyone on Friday to sign up for appointments this week. All 9,000 filled within minutes.

That site, in particular, said that they expect big crowds over the next three or four weeks. They might have to adjust operating hours since many people work during the day but they have not made any firm decisions yet.

In addition, they might receive more vaccines soon too. Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said that the White House recently doubled its goal of getting 200 million people vaccinated within President Biden's first 100 days in office.

"By the end of this month, that 100th day in office for the Biden administration will occur so the supply of vaccine will be increasing significantly within the remainder of this month," he said.

Cheyenne Drews, 24, will get her first dose this week.

RELATED: How the Orange County Convention Center vaccine site is bracing for increased demand

"I think a lot of people have sacrificed a lot and made a lot of choices over the past year to keep their neighbors and family safe, and so it's a chance to just fill our cups back up again," she said.

Officials say 11,000 people will be getting their shots in Seminole County this week. The county previously had been getting about 5,000 doses a week.

Seminole County Emergency Manager Alan Harris said when Seminole's vaccine portal opened, all 11,000 appointments booked up that day.

"Every five minutes were seeing about a thousand appointments fly away, be taken. We thought that there may be vaccine hesitancy as we get younger, but we haven't," Harris said. He explained that the demand for the vaccine is high.

RELATED: Publix to reopen vaccine portal as all adults in Florida become eligible

"I think people are ready," Harris said. "They're ready to get back to normal life and they see this as an opportunity to do that. I think people want to travel. We've heard that. A lot of people come through the lines saying, 'I can't wait to get on a cruise...' a lot of hope."

Drews tells FOX 35 that she's thankful things are moving in the right direction.

"I think what it represents is a reset and a chance to see loved ones again, and experience more of a normal life," she said. "I hope that the hope is contagious. There's more to go, but the light is there."

Harris said as the age groups have opened up, Seminole County is seeing more seniors who were hesitant to get the vaccine in the beginning now sign up for it.

He said many of them are feeling more comfortable now that their friends and family are getting the shots.


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