Highlands County COVID-19 vaccine distribution

As COVID-19 vaccines are distributed throughout the state of Florida, individual counties are beginning to release information about how and to whom the two-dose vaccine will be distributed.

In an executive order, Governor Ron DeSantis said the first phase of vaccine administration will prioritize long-term care facility residents and staff, persons 65 years of age and older, and health care personnel with direct patient contact.

The Florida Department of Health - Highlands County is currently offering COVID-19 vaccinations for the following people:

  • Priority group 65 years old and older
  • Frontline healthcare workers

Vaccines will be administered beginning Tuesday, Jan. 5 at the Lakeshore Mall, 901 U.S. 27 North, in Sebring from noon to 4 p.m. and on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays until further notice.

Vaccines will be administered on an appointment-only basis at the mall. Registration for appointments will be taken online only beginning Monday, Jan. 4, and the registration portal will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday. The registration portal can be found here. You cannot register for an appointment on-site.

What you'll need to be vaccinated in Highlands County:

  • Appointment
  • Proof of identification

Vaccines are being delivered weekly to the Department of Health. At this time, Highlands County does not know how many vaccines will be allocated to the community each week. Because of this, appointment registration will be done virtually on Mondays for that week’s available doses. Once those appointment slots have been filled for the week, the registration portal will be temporarily closed. The portal will reopen at 8 a.m. each Monday and will close when all spots have been filled for that week. 

LINK: COVID-19 vaccine distribution information in Tampa Bay area counties

COVID-19 Vaccines in Florida:

On December 23, Governor Ron DeSantis announced Executive Order 20-315, which states: During this first phase of vaccine administration, all providers administering any COVID-19 vaccine shall only vaccinate the following populations:

  • Long-term care facility residents and staff;
  • persons 65 years of age and older;
  • and health care personnel with direct patient contact.

Hospitals, however, also may vaccinate persons who they deem to be extremely vulnerable to COVID-19.

Governor DeSantis also announced that in addition to hospitals, county health departments will begin vaccinating individuals 65 and older in the coming weeks as supply permits. Each county health department will work directly with their community partners to notify the community when vaccine doses are available and will provide information about what will be needed to register for vaccination.

Florida has launched a COVID-19 Vaccine Report that will be updated daily at FloridaHealthCOVID19.gov. This report includes a breakdown of who has received the vaccine by age, race, sex and county.

If you feel sick:

The Florida Department of Health has opened a COVID-19 Call Center at 1-866-779-6121. Agents will answer questions around the clock. Questions may also be emailed to covid-19@flhealth.gov. Email responses will be sent during call center hours.

LINK: Florida's COVID-19 website

CORONAVIRUS IN FLORIDA: What you need to know

AROUND THE WORLD: CoronavirusNOW.com

Map of known COVID-19 cases:

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