‘Vulnerable’ Florida residents with physician recommendation can receive vaccine at pharmacies, governor says

 A new executive order quietly appeared on the Florida governor’s website expanding vaccination access to those considered medically ‘vulnerable’ and who have a physician recommendation.

Governor Ron DeSantis signed into effect a new order Friday expanding the list of individuals eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination at their local pharmacy or doctor’s office. 

Previously, those 65 and older, healthcare workers or long-term care facility residents and staff were the only ones eligible to receive a vaccine at a pharmacy location. Also, those with underlying health conditions were able to receive the vaccine through certain hospitals.

Now, Floridians deemed as extremely vulnerable to the virus will be able to receive a vaccination at a pharmacy through the recommendation of their physician, according to the executive order.

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After the executive order was issued, it left room for many questions. For instance, it does not specify which underlying health conditions are included under the order. It only states that individuals must have a recommendation from their physician. 

The executive order also does not specify whether this can apply to state-run or county-operated vaccination sites. It also remains unclear how certain doctor offices will receive the vaccine supply if they haven't already.

The best bet is to contact your local pharmacy or doctor's office for additional information.

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

Due to the fact that the order was signed into effect late Friday with little fanfare, it’s unclear which pharmacies are currently accepting vaccination appointments for those younger than 65 with underlying conditions.

Some state leaders are concerned that not all pharmacies have been updated with the new guidelines, as the Florida Department of Health’s website has also yet to be changed to include the governor’s latest order. 

As of Monday morning, Publix has updated their website to reflect the changes. 

You can read Executive Order 21-46 below: