January 23 — Outrage over media reports of Canadians and other foreigners paying big dollars for charter flights to Miami for coronavirus vaccine shots generated understandable blowback. Reacting, Florida Gov. DeSantis took steps to eliminate this form of medical tourism this week. While that made most residents happier, Florida’s many snowbirds became concerned that the new rules might effectively shut them out of getting inoculated. Fortunately the new rules for snowbirds and other seasonal visitors have been clarified, and most should be eligible for a shot (if they can get an appointment!)
Elsewhere, there is concern that groups with close ties to the Governor, who is touting his decision to prioritize residents age 65+ over essential workers, are getting priority access to the vaccine. Residents in communities like The Villages were quick to an allocation, while almost everyone in Century Village and Kings Point has had a chance to get their shots by now. Meanwhile, millions of other FL residents not so well connected are stymied by non-existent web sites, lengthy queues, and fragmentary information. This has led to speculation that the Governor or his staff is steering vaccines to organizations he has ties to. Speculation has also arisen over the Publix supermarket chain’s donation of $100,000 to the Governor’s political campaign. The chain has since become a major source of Covid 19 vaccines administered in the state. The Governor’s office has denied any connection, according to WUSF Public Media.
Who is Eligible for the Vaccine in Florida?
Eligibility for non-Florida residents starts with being able to prove that they reside in the state for at least 31 consecutive days. Then they have to scramble to come up with two other types of documents. The first document might be easy to come by, but the second could involve more effort.
Florida residents. To prove residency an adult resident must provide a copy of his or her valid Florida driver license or a copy of a valid Florida identification card.
Seasonal resident means any person who temporarily resides in this state for a period of at least 31 consecutive days in each calendar year, maintains a temporary residence in this state, returns to the state or jurisdiction of his or her residence at least one time during each calendar year, and is registered to vote or pays income tax in another state or jurisdiction.
Seasonal residents may provide a copy of two of the following to show proof of residential address:
- A deed, mortgage, monthly mortgage statement, mortgage payment booklet or residential rental or lease agreement.
- One proof of residential address from the season resident’s parent, step-parent or legal guardian or other person with whom the seasonal resident resides and a statement from the person with whom the seasonal resident resides stating that the seasonal resident does reside with him or her.
- A utility hookup or work order dated within 60 days before registration.
- 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.
What is it like in your state? How is your quest for a vaccine going? What is like in your state – is it being handled well? Are you having trouble getting a shot, or did you have success? Where are people having the most luck getting an appointment? Please share your experiences in the Comments section below.