COVID-19 Vaccines and Therapies

Each week, I send an e-newsletter that provides updates on COVID-19, my actions in D.C. as well as district news. Click here to subscribe.

Florida has administered a COVID-19 vaccine to over 15 million people. Governor DeSantis' Seniors First strategy prioritized the most vulnerable populations in our state. Florida has vaccinated 95% of the 4.5 million seniors living in our state. 

Covid Vaccine and Treatments

Florida is administering Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Governor DeSantis opened numerous monoclonal antibody therapy treatment sites across the Sunshine State. Monoclonal antibody treatments can be prescribed by health care providers to individuals 12 years of age and older who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and are at high risk for severe illness and hospitalization. On January 24, 2022, the FDA abruptly decided to revoke authorization of Monoclonal Antibody Treatments (mAbs). This is senseless and dangerous for the residents of Florida and Americans across the nation. As a result, Florida's monoclonal sites are closed. Doctors should have access to an array of treatments and therapies and make the determination of what best serves their patients. I have supported Governor DeSantis' efforts to secure vital mAbs treatments for all Floridians and join him in condemning this reckless decision.

The President's focus on pushing vaccines over all other tools to fight COVID-19 had already resulted in a significant shortage of treatments, therapies, tests, and even PPE for healthcare workers.  

I and members of the Florida congressional delegation requested U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra provide information into the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) sudden decision to revoke the emergency use authorizations for two monoclonal antibody drugs. Last year, I called on President Biden to not restrict states' access to medicines, treatments, and therapies for covid-19 and have been asking his administration why they failed to secure sufficient quantity of these treatments. 

In January 2021, I reached out to President Biden’s head of COVID-19 response requesting they prioritize Florida and increase our vaccine allotment in keeping with Governor DeSantis’ request. Following my letter, on Tuesday, January 26th the White House COVID-19 coordinator announced that the federal government will be increasing vaccines dose distribution from 8.6 million to about 10 million per week - an increase of 16 percent. I've been asking the Biden Administration why they failed to secure treatments such as mAbs. I will not back from holding the Biden Administration accountable for their failures to follow the science.

Vaccine Eligibility

Thanks to the leadership and preparation of Governor Ron DeSantis working with federal, state, and local partners Florida was the first state in the nation to begin offering vaccines to the staff and residents of Florida’s 4,000+ long-term care facilities. The Sunshine State was also the first to begin offering vaccines to EMTs and paramedics, and to mobilize county health departments and county emergency managers to actively vaccinate seniors 65 and older in the community.

Floridians 5 years and older are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. All individuals under the age of 18 receiving a vaccine must be accompanied by a guardian and complete the COVID-19 vaccine screening and consent form. The form is available here.

Information on locations across my district is provided below. Florida Department of Health Statewide Vaccine Locator: https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/covid-19-vaccines-in-florida. Floridians can search by county or city and contact information for each location is included. 

Vaccine Mandates

I am opposed to vaccine mandates and believe healthcare decisions should be made between individuals and their healthcare providers. On January 13, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked President Biden's mandate that requires businesses owners with more than 100 employees to institute mandatory COVID-19 vaccine or conduct weekly COVID-19 testing. If they don’t comply, the business will face fines of up to $14,000 per employee. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to block President Biden’s dystopian vaccine mandate on private businesses is a win for our rule of law. 

The mandates on federal contractors and healthcare workers are still working their way through the courts.  The U.S. Supreme Court recently chose not to block the mandate on healthcare workers. My office will also do everything we can to help you if you are concerned about forced vaccination as an employer, member of the military, federal contractor, or private employee. Click here for more information and next steps.

Vaccine Locations

More than 2,000 vaccination sites have been opened statewide in partnership with local communities and hospitals. County locations are listed below in each respective county.  

The Florida Department of Health has issued new guidance regarding COVID-19 vaccinations for children.  Please review this guidance here.

Are you a homebound senior? If so, click here, or email HomeboundVaccine@em.myflorida.com or call 866-779-6121 to put in your request for vaccination. More than 24,000 homebound seniors, including Holocaust survivors and World War II veterans have been identified and vaccinated. Federally-supported sites in Jacksonville, Tampa, Orlando and Miami administered vaccines to more than 784,000 Floridians. 

Citrus County

Moderna, Pfizer and Janssen (J&J) vaccines are offered at the UF/IFAS Extension building, 3650 W. Sovereign Path in Lecanto, by appointment or walk-in throughout April. 

  • To make an appointment visit bitly.com/citruscovidvax.
  • DOH-Citrus has the Pfizer age-appropriate vaccine for children aged 5-11. This vaccine is given by appointment only. Call 352-527-0247 for your appointment.

Click here for Citrus County Health Department website.

Pharmacies administering COVID-19 vaccines:

Hernando County

Click here for Hernando County Health Department website.

DOH-Hernando vaccine appointments must be made by phone, by calling 352-540-6800 and choosing option 7. 

Pharmacies administering COVID-19 vaccines:

Lake County

Click here for the Lake County Health Department website.

This week, Lake-DOH is administering COVID-19 vaccines on a first-come, first-serve basis at:

  • DOH-Lake Community Health Site, 560 W. DeSoto Street, Clermont on Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 2:00 pm.
  • DOH-Leesburg, 2113 Griffin Road, Tuesday and Thursday, 8:00 am to 2:00 pm.
  • DOH-Lake Umatilla, 249 E. Collins Street, Umatilla on Monday thru Friday, 8:00 am to 2:00 p.m.

Please also follow or visit @FLHealthLake for updates and announcements. 

Pharmacies administering COVID-19 vaccines:

Marion County

Click here for the Marion County Health Department website.

Marion-DOH is providing COVID-19 vaccines first-come, first-serve, Monday through Friday, 8:30 - 11:00 am and 1:00 - 4:30 pm at Department of Health in Marion County, 1801 SE 32nd Ave., Ocala. Visit https://tinyurl.com/MarionCOVIDvax to schedule an appointment or call 352-644-2590. 

Pharmacies administering COVID-19 vaccines:

Sumter County & The Villages

Click here to visit Sumter County Health Department website.

Pharmacies administering COVID-19 vaccines:

Veterans

North Florida / South Georgia Veterans Health System (NF-SGVHS) is offering COVID-19 vaccines to all enrolled, eligible veterans regardless of age. Appointments are preferred and can be made by calling 352-548-6000 ext. 103755

  • American Legion Post 57, 2602 SW Main Blvd, Lake City, 32025
  • American Legion Post 347, 699 W Lady Lake Blvd, Lady Lake, 32159
  • Orlando VA Medical Center, Lake Nona Campus, 4th Floor Auditorium, 13800 Veterans Way, Orlando, 32837. Call 407-631-0499 for an appointment.
  • The Villages Outpatient Clinic, 8900 Southwest 165th Mulberry Lane, The Villages, 32162, Tuesday-Thursday from 1:00 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.
  • Ocala CBOC, 1515 East Silver Springs Boulevard, Suite 226, Ocala, 34470 on Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
  • Malcolm Randall VA Medical Center, 1601 SW Archer Road, Gainesville, 32608 from 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
For more information visit https://www.va.gov/north-florida-health-care/programs/covid-19-vaccines-and-boosters/. If the vaccine is not available at the preferred site of care, Veterans are encouraged to schedule an appointment to receive the vaccine at another NF/SGVHS or attend one of the health systems’ no appointment needed vaccination events.

To receive updates from the VA on COVID-19 vaccine administration, sign up for their updates here.   If you are in one of the risk groups identified by the VA, they may reach out to you to invite you to a nearby vaccination event or to schedule a vaccine appointment. This outreach will come via text message from 53079 or from an email ending with va.gov.

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The Save Lives Act, a bill I co-sponsored, passed the House and Senate and was signed into law by President Biden.  H.R. 2176 expands veteran access to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Under the bill, the VA must offer the vaccine to all enrolled Veterans – approximately 9.5 million – as vaccine supply permits, including:

  • Non-enrolled Veterans as defined in the new legislation, including those without service-connected disabilities and who have incomes above VA’s threshold.
  • Overseas Veterans who rely on the Foreign Medical Program.
  • Veteran caregivers who are enrolled in either the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers or the Program of General Caregiver Support Services.
  • Veteran caregivers enrolled in certain Geriatrics and Extended Care Programs, such as Veteran Directed Care, Bowel and Bladder, Home Based Primary Care and VA’s Medical Foster Home Program.
  • Civilian Health and Medical Programs of the Department of Veterans Affairs recipients.
  • Veteran spouses.

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Governor DeSantis has directed the Florida Department of Health and Division of Emergency Management to work with Florida Department of Veterans Affairs to identify homebound veterans of World War II and the Korean War who cannot travel to be vaccinated. If you are a WWII or Korean War veteran, please enter your contact information at this link or call 850-487-1533 extension 9.