COVID-19 Vaccine

Dec 31, 2020

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Vaccine Update

The vaccine is not widely available in Hillsborough County at this time. We expect to be able to accommodate appointments for the vaccine for priority groups the first part of January. Please continue to check back for updated information as available.

Hillsborough County, the Florida Department of Health, and its partners are developing a comprehensive vaccination distribution program to ensure that the most vulnerable, medical workers, first responders, long-term care residents, and all residents are protected against the COVID-19. For complete, up-to-date information, follow Hillsborough County’s COVID-19 Information Page.

Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Food & Drug Administration

Many vaccines are being developed and tested, but some might be ready before others, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The federal agency is working with partners at all levels, including health care associations, on flexible COVID-19 vaccination programs that can accommodate different vaccines and scenarios. According to the CDC, being vaccinated provides numerous benefits. It is also important to know that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) ensures vaccine quality, safety, and effectiveness.

Vaccine Approval Process

The FDA is responsible for approving the vaccines for use in the United States. The agency is expected to expedite distribution under a process known as Emergency Use Authorization. Learn the facts about the COVID 19 vaccines and the federal government’s efforts to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics.

Vaccine Prioritization

Phase 1 Begins December *

Limited Supply of Vaccine Availability

  • Long Term Care Facility (residents and staff)
  • Persons 65 years+
  • Healthcare Personnel with Direct Patient Contact

Phase 2 Begins March *

Significant Increase of Vaccine Availability

  • Critical organizations (As identified by the Governor of Florida)
  • Vulnerable populations (People who are at higher risk of severe illness)

Phase 3 Begins April *

Ample Supply of Vaccine Availability

  • Vaccine Available to the General Public

* Date ranges are subject to change. Priority and Phases are determined by the amount of vaccine the state and county receives.

For questions, contact the Florida Department of Health at (866) 779-6121 or COVID-19@FlHealth.Gov

Finding Credible Vaccine Information

Before going online to search for vaccine information, make sure that you have identified credible sources that regularly update their information. The CDC offers guidance on how to find credible information. In addition, the Immunization Action Coalition offers valuable advice on evaluating online health information. The University of California San Francisco’s Evaluating Health Information page lists red flags every consumer needs to know.