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Vaccination availability expanded to teachers, police, firefighters

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Pat Raia, [email protected]

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Some teachers, law enforcement officers and fighters may now qualify to receive COVID-19 vaccinations under an executive order issued by Gov. Ron DeSantis earlier this month.

Effective March 3, the executive order requires all those administering the COVID-19 vaccine to expand vaccine availability to K-12 school employees 50 years of age and older, sworn law enforcement officers 50 years of age and older and firefighters 50 years of age and older. Those age 65 years  or older, long term care residents and staff and Health care personnel with direct patient contact remain a vaccination priority under the executive order.

In Hernando County those who qualify because of their employment status should get in touch with the point-of contact for their specific agency, according to the Department of Health (DOH) Hernando County.

Sworn law enforcement officers who qualify under the new order should contact Major Kenneth Hayden, Hernando County Sheriff’s Office, and firefighters who qualify should contact Division Chief Kenneth Wannen, Hernando County Fire and Emergency Services, according to the Department of Health (DOH) Hernando County.

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“The Department of Health (DOH) Hernando is working with school district administration to develop a plan for distribution,” said DOH-Hernando spokesperson Ashley Thomas. “Further information will be provided directly to Hernando County School District (HCSD) staff as it is made available.”

The order also requires providers to make vaccines available to those determined by a physician to be extremely vulnerable to COVID-19, so long as they meet certain eligibility criteria from the Florida Department of Health.

Hernando County residents who believe they fall under the extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 priority group should contact their physician to determine eligibility, Thomas said.

If eligible, they must take the completed form, signed by their physician, to their appointment at a participating pharmacy to receive the vaccine. That form is available by visiting https://bit.ly/3qbHLb4.

Meanwhile, vaccinations are available at the County’s permanent vaccination site at the Hernando County Fairgrounds, as well as at pharmacies within Publix, Walmart and Winn-Dixie.

Appointments are required for all vaccine clinics, according to DOH-Hernando.

Walk-ups will not be accommodated.

Anyone wanting to be vaccinated must provide documentation of age such as a driver’s license, government issued ID, birth certificate or passport, or employment status for a qualifying priority group.

Those age 65 years and older should continue to use the CDR Maguire Online Registration Portal at www.patientportalfl.com or via phone at 844-770-8548.

 

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