While the pandemic is still going strong, things are starting to look up for the U.S. as we roll out the vaccine. In fact, all Florida adults age 18 and up will be eligible to register for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment beginning April 5 (age 40 and up will be eligible as of March 29).
Here's what you need to know about registering yourself or an aging loved one for a vaccine appointment, and what the CDC says you can do once you're fully vaccinated.
How do I register myself or a loved one for the COVID-19 vaccine in Florida?
Here’s how to register yourself (or your senior parent, if they’re not tech-savvy) for the COVID-19 vaccine in Florida:
Pre-register: Fill out Florida’s pre-registration questions (including your name, birth date, sex, demographics, and contact information) to get in line for a vaccine dose.
Schedule an appointment: Once you’re registered and have the OK from the state, schedule an appointment at one of the vaccine distribution locations in Florida. These include pharmacies, health clinics, medical doctor’s offices, local health departments, and federal mass vaccination sites.
Arrange transportation to your appointment: If you can’t drive yourself or feel more comfortable being accompanied by someone, reach out to a loved one who can take you to the vaccination site.
Bring proof of identity: When you go for your appointment, make sure you bring your license or other state-issued ID, any paperwork you may have received, and your insurance card. Additionally, of course, remember to wear your mask.
If you or your senior loved one lives in a nursing home or other long-term care facility, they have first priority for vaccination (and may have already been vaccinated at this point). Typically, residents and staff will receive vaccination for free through a federal program via a local pharmacy.
What can fully-vaccinated people do?
While we’re still learning how COVID-19 vaccines will help stop the spread of the virus, the CDC has indicated that vaccinated individuals can safely resume some of the activities they had stopped during the pandemic.
If you’ve been fully vaccinated:
● You can gather indoors with other vaccinated individuals without having to wear a mask.
● You can gather indoors with unvaccinated individuals from one other household (e.g. visiting relatives who live together) without masks, so long as none of them are considered high-risk.
● You do not have to get tested or avoid others after an exposure.
While a COVID-19 vaccine does grant you some freedom (especially compared to the past year), you should still take the proper precautions like washing your hands, wearing a mask when in public, staying six feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly-ventilated spaces. Additionally, you should delay unnecessary domestic or international travel, or at the very least following CDC requirements and recommendations regarding travel at this time.
All this to say, you can hug your grandkids, attend family gatherings, visit friends and other loved ones again — without the worry of contracting or spreading the virus. We are finally seeing the light at the end of this long, dark, and isolating past year.
Have questions about senior living communities and how they are handling the COVID-19 vaccine? Welcome Home Senior Services and Placement Company can connect you with any of the hundreds of Florida communities we represent. Contact us today and let us know how we can help you and your family.