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Only Florida residents can receive first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in Sunshine State

'The COVID-19 vaccine remains scarce,' state Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees says
Residents at HarborChase of Palm Beach Gardens receive COVID-19 vaccine on Jan. 18, 2021.jpg
Posted at 3:54 PM, Jan 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-21 17:13:37-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Starting on Thursday, only Florida residents will be allowed to get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in the Sunshine State.

State Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees issued a public health advisory that prioritizes Florida residents to receive COVID-19 vaccinations within the state.

Under the order, "every vaccine provider in Florida should ensure the recipient of the vaccine is either: 1) a resident of the state of Florida able to demonstrate residency" or "an individual present in Florida for the purpose of providing health care services involving direct contact with patients."

Dr. Rivkees said this new measure applies to people receiving their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, not those who have already gotten their first dose and are awaiting their second.

In his order, Rivkees said "the COVID-19 vaccine remains scarce within the United States and vaccine availability in Florida is extremely limited."

This means seasonal residents who don't list Florida as their primary residence, along with visitors from other states, are not eligible to receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Florida.

Earlier this month, Florida's Director of Emergency Management Jared Moskowitz called "vaccine tourism," where people come to the state to get vaccinated, abhorrent.

"People who live here, rent, own a house, pay taxes, and contribute to the economy, they are eligible," Moskowitz said.

You can read the public health advisory by clicking here.

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Data from The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.