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Florida’s Vaccine Distribution Plan – Are You Eligible? Resources to Assist You and Your Patients

The chances of predicting whether or not your county health department or eligible county hospital will vaccinate you, a chiropractic physician or your staff or your patients, are about as good as predicting the winner of the 2020 Presidential election.  
What we do know:

The Governor issued Executive Order 20-315 on December 23, 2020, establishing front-line health care workers, staff and residents of long-term care facilities and individuals 65 and older as those with first priority.  A news release giving further explanation was published on December 29, 2020.

The CDC recommends the vaccine for “healthcare personnel.”  The CDC’s broad definition of “healthcare personnel” does not specifically name chiropractors.[1]

The CDC’s examples of healthcare personnel include:

  • Emergency medical service personnel
  • Nurses and nursing assistants
  • Physicians
  • Technicians
  • Therapists
  • Dentists
  • Dental hygienists and assistants
  • Phlebotomists
  • Pharmacists
  • Students and trainees
  • Contractual staff
  • Dietary and food services staff
  • Environmental services staff
  • Administrative staff

Hospitals are administering COVID-19 vaccine to health care workers with direct patient contact, including health care workers in their communities, as well as persons 65 years of age and older and hospital providers may vaccinate persons who they deem to be extremely vulnerable to COVID-19.  A list of hospitals administering COVID-19 vaccine as of 12/29/2020 can be found here

County Health Departments are administering COVID-19 vaccine to persons 65 years of age and older.  County Health Departments may require you to register for an appointment. Please check your County Health Department or county government’s website for more information.

Home resource page for Florida Department of Health on COVID-19.

The distribution of the COVID-19 vaccinations differs from county-to-county and from hospital-to-hospital and, therefore, should you want the vaccination, you should review the specific information on their websites through the resources cited in this Bulletin.  Many of the websites have applications to complete for the vaccine and/or for an appointment.

For those desiring the vaccine, you or your patients are encouraged to identify all of their personal factors affecting their vulnerability and to reach out online to their county health department and/or local hospitals to sign up for the vaccine.  Those with significant comorbidities may wish to enlist their personal physician treating those conditions for assistance in being moved up in the priority.  It is reasonable to expect hospitals to give priority to recommendations from a physician who has privileges with them.

[1] The CDC defines “healthcare personnel” very broadly to include, all paid and unpaid persons serving in healthcare settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials, including body substances (e.g., blood, tissue, and specific body fluids); contaminated medical supplies, devices, and equipment; contaminated environmental surfaces; or contaminated air. HCP include, but are not limited to, emergency medical service personnel, nurses, nursing assistants, home healthcare personnel, physicians, technicians, therapists, phlebotomists, pharmacists, students and trainees, contractual staff not employed by the healthcare facility, and persons not directly involved in patient care, but who could be exposed to infectious agents that can be transmitted in the healthcare setting (e.g., clerical, dietary, environmental services, laundry, security, engineering and facilities management, administrative, billing, and volunteer personnel).See CDC Explanation here.