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Florida Addresses Vaccination Tourism By Excluding Out-Of-State Residents

Vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are prepared for distribution in Pinellas County on Dec. 16, 2020.
Through Wednesday, Florida had vaccinated about 1.18 million people, with nearly 41,000 having residences listed as out of state, according to a Department of Health breakdown.

Only Florida residents, including snowbirds, and health care workers will be allowed to receive coronavirus vaccines. Proof of residency will be required.

Pointing to limited amounts of COVID-19 vaccine, Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees issued an advisory Thursday aimed at limiting vaccinations to health care workers and residents, including so-called snowbirds who live in the state part time.

The advisory came amid concerns about vaccination “tourism” involving people traveling to Florida from other states to get shots.

Through Wednesday, Florida had vaccinated about 1.18 million people, with nearly 41,000 having residences listed as out of state, according to a Department of Health breakdown.

Under Rivkees’ advisory, providers would have to check to make sure intended vaccine recipients are Florida residents or people in Florida to provide health care services that involve direct contact with patients.

Proof of residency would include a driver’s license, state ID, mortgage or lease document, utility bills or other forms as spelled out by the state.

The two-page advisory said, in part, that “the COVID-19 vaccine remains scarce within the United States and vaccine availability in Florida is extremely limited.”

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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