Florida expands vaccine eligibility Monday to include residents 40 and older

Starting Monday, Floridians who are 40 and older can get in line for the COVID-19 vaccine.

This opens up the vaccine to more than 200,000 additional people in Hillsborough County alone. Site administrators at the federal vaccine location in Tampa told FOX 13 they’ve spent the weekend preparing for another busy start to the week.

Overall though, with all of the site options out there between large drive-through locations and neighborhood pharmacies, medical experts said they are confident vaccination efforts will continue to go smoothly with the new age requirement.

"I think if you look at what happened with the 50 and over group, the first couple days were a little bit busy, but after the first rush, things are going pretty well," said Dr. Michael Teng, USF professor and virologist.

LINK: Locations and information on all other Bay Area counties

Appointments are mandatory. Florida residency is required. To make an appointment, go to the CDR Health Pro portal at patientportalfl.com.

Adults younger than 40 are eligible for a vaccine at the county’s sites if they are:

  • Health care personnel with direct patient contact
  • Pre-K through grade 12 school employees (public, private, and charter)
  • Persons deemed medically vulnerable by a physician. These individuals must bring the COVID-19 Determination of Extreme Vulnerability form, completed and signed by a physician.

Medical researchers said it’s important for people to get vaccinated as soon as possible and urge anyone who’s eligible to get an appointment as soon as possible.

Next Monday, the vaccine will open up to all adults in Florida, and one of the vaccines will also be available for 16 and up.

Right now, the Pfizer vaccine is the only one of the three approved for 16 and 17-year-olds. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines didn’t have enough patients under the age of 18 during their trials.

Sites like Tampa’s FEMA location offer the Pfizer vaccine and make that clear on the state emergency management website. However, not every site does that. If you’re seeking a vaccine for someone under 18, it’s important to call a pharmacy or location before booking an appointment.