Florida to require proof of residency for COVID-19 vaccines

Florida will begin requiring people to show proof they’re state residents before they can receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

An advisory issued Thursday by Florida’s Surgeon General Scott Rivkees states prioritization will now be given to Florida residents.

Of the more than 1.1 million people vaccinated Florida, almost 41,000 shots were given to people who don’t live in the state, and the State says no more.

“I think that’s the fairest way to do it, absolutely,” said Charles Andro in Estero.

Andro is one of the lucky ones. He got his first shot after getting on a waitlist in a county outside of where he lives, and he thinks the order handed down Thursday will help his neighbors he cares about.

“I feel some sense of guilt, you know?” Andro said. “Why was I lucky enough to get it, and they haven’t? So that’s why I’m trying to help them out whenever I can or as best I can.”

Vaccine providers will be required to make sure the recipient is either a resident of the State of Florida or is in the state as a frontline health care worker.

Recipients must give the provider a Florida driver’s license or ID card. Seasonal residents can show a monthly mortgage, rent or utility bill or a lease agreement.

Seasonal residents, which the State defines as people who live here for more than 31 consecutive days each year, can show the same information to get the shot.

“It gives me a lot more hope, and I’m excited to think that we have half a chance now,” said Donna Lee Horn in Charlotte County. “Didn’t seem like we had a chance before.”

Others know there is still very high demand for a vaccine that is still extremely limited, so they know the challenge of getting the shot isn’t going away completely.

“I’m not sure my chances are that great,” said Dr. Jim Bryn, a seasonal resident of Sanibel. “I think there’s a large demand and not that large of a supply.”

What you must provide for proof of residency

  1. An adult resident must provide a copy of his or her valid Florida driver license issued or a copy of a valid Florida ID card.
  2. An adult seasonal resident who can’t meet above requirements can provide a copy of two of the following that show proof of residential address:
  • A deed, mortgage, monthly mortgage statement, mortgage payment booklet or residential rental or lease agreement
  • A utility hookup or work order dated within 60 days before registration in the medical use registry
  • A utility bill, not more than 2 months old.
  • Mail from a financial institution, including checking, savings, or investment account statements, not more than 2 months old
  • Mail from a federal, state, county, or municipal government agency, not more than 2 months old
  • Any other documentation that provides proof of residential address as determined by department rule
Reporter:Justin Kase
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